A former civil servant at the Ministry of Justice has been jailed for committing fraud against his employers. The former contracts manager pleaded guilty to fraud and transferring criminal property. He created a fake IT service contract that received regular payments from his department.
He stole more than £1.7m from the department after creating a £7m purchase order for an ‘IT services contract’ with ‘Sopra Business Consulting’. A monthly payment was set up to go to this business. He was sentenced at Southwalk Crown Court earlier this month to three and a half years in prison.
The defendant was listed as the sole director and only employee of Sopra Business Consulting and was able to transfer payments from the firm’s account to his personal account. He used the money to buy lavish cars and a five-bedroom manor house in Hampshire. It was described as a “sophisticated fraud” by the prosecutor.
The alarm was raised by a junior colleague who became suspicious about a payment. The perpetrator then tried to convince them that the payment was legitimate. His employment has been terminated and so far the department has recovered around £900k of the stolen funds.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said “[He] abused his position as a trusted member of staff and used his knowledge of our controls to circumvent them. Most of the money he stole has been recovered and we are now taking further steps to get the remainder.”
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