10 May 2018
Social care businessman sentenced for defrauding clients
The former owner of a Harrogate social care business was sentenced at York Crown Court today for defrauding his clients following an investigation by Veritau on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council.
The fraud investigation revealed that the former owner of the Bluebird Care franchise in Harrogate, financially abused his clients while in a position of trust by taking £37k from their managed accounts to supplement his business.
They bought the franchise for Bluebird Care in 2010 and admitted that in recent years the business had been failing. As a result they used clients’ funds to supplement the business by almost £37k right up to the point the discrepancies in the client’s accounts were raised. The business was then sold again in 2017.
The money they took was paid by the County Council to the Bluebird Care clients via direct payments, which are meant to pay for their care. They were responsible for managing these funds on behalf of their clients; however took advantage of this position by using the money to pay into the business.
Once the discrepancies were brought to their attention they repaid the outstanding amount of £18,655 in full.
They pleaded guilty to all charges summonsed by North Yorkshire Police at York Magistrates Court in April and was sentenced at York Crown Court today to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, 180 hours of unpaid work and a victim surcharge.