Thursday, October 1, 2015

News: Man sentenced for defrauding Rotherham company


Rotherham industrial firm Roebuck and Clarke (Galvanising) Limited collapsed after a member of staff defrauded it out of around £100,000.

Andrew Barry Mitchell, of Kiveton Lane, Todwick, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court this week and was sentenced to a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, as well as 250 hours' community service after admitting the fraud. He entered guilty pleas to 11 counts of false accounting and five counts of fraud at an earlier hearing.

Staff from the Meadowbank Road firm, which specialised in galvanising and powder coating, called police in September 2011 to report some concerns over the company's finances and possible fraudulent activity.

Enquiries conducted by specialist investigators from South Yorkshire Police's Financial Crime Investigation Unit revealed that Mitchell, who was employed as operations director at the time the offences took place, ordered his salary to be increased without authorisation from the company's managing director and created false sales invoices.

Between 2009 and 2011, it is estimated that Mitchell defrauded the company out of around £100,000.

On January 23 2012, Roebuck & Clarke (Galvanizing) Limited entered into administration.

Detective Constable Steven Strecker, who lead the investigation, said: "I am pleased that Mitchell accepted responsibility for his crimes and entered a guilty plea.

"Examination of financial records showed that Mitchell created false invoices to make sales figures appear higher, as well as fraudulently increasing his salary with no approval to do so.

"His actions had a significant impact the company, which ultimately suffered financial collapse leading to the loss of 90 jobs."

Police are now pursuing further action under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Sheffield firm, John Street Galvanizing, one of the North's leading specialists in zinc electroplating, took on the Meadowbank site.

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