A former managing director of a global manufacturing company has been sentenced to 4.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to committing fraud by abuse of position against his former employer.

The private prosecutor was represented by Addleshaw Goddard's Private Prosecutions practice and Rebecca Chalkley of Red Lion Chambers. 

Following the defendant's guilty plea in February, he repaid all defrauded sums to the private prosecutor, who was also awarded costs orders against the defendant and from Central Funds. Recorder Rebecca Wade sitting at Birmingham Crown Court on 8 July 2022 said the criminality was "so serious a custodial sentence was justified", noting that "his conduct was motivated purely by greed and no other reason has been put forward." In addition to the custodial sentence, the defendant was also disqualified from acting as a company director for eight years.

Ms Chalkley, prosecuting, told the court, "he used the company as his own private fiefdom and piggy bank. He was given one hundred percent trust and abused that trust one hundred percent."

Addleshaw Goddard, who also acted in the preceding employment matter in which the fraud was first discovered, worked with the company to recover evidence that had been deleted and destroyed, as well as interviewing and taking statements from more than a dozen witnesses. The evidence showed that the defendant had repeatedly falsified invoices and other accounting records to conceal his fraud, persuading suppliers to alter the descriptions of goods and services they provided to him for his personal benefit to appear as though they were for the company, over a period of at least ten years.

Polly Sprenger, a Partner in the Global Investigations team of Addleshaw Goddard, said:

"Our client took a brave and principled decision, at great cost in time, resources and effort to ensure that the public interest was served. They felt strongly that the former managing director's criminal acts should not be swept aside, and diligently persevered in their pursuit of justice. This outcome serves as a powerful deterrent to those senior executives in positions of power who seek to exploit their position for their own dishonest benefit."

Addleshaw Goddard's six-strong Private Prosecution practice is one of the largest in this specialist field, advising clients seeking criminal investigation and prosecution where law enforcement can't or won't assist. The team brings and defends private prosecutions, as well as liaising with law enforcement in the first instance to push for public assistance. The team helps clients navigate the whole process from advice and investigation through to criminal and/or civil proceedings and any asset tracing, confiscation and enforcement.