A payroll administrator who stole £2.9m from a City of London firm has been jailed for four years after a hearing at the Old Bailey.
Between 2007 and 2013, Dennis Harold, 60, invented fake companies and temporary staff to transfer funds through more than 20 invented bank accounts to steal £2.9m from media recruitment firm Devonshire Appointments, where he worked for 14 years.
Harold is purported to have spent £1.2m, much of it on his gambling addiction as well as £97,000 on chauffeur-driven cars and taxis, as well as a “difficult divorce” and sending money to Thailand where he had a fiancée or wife.
In 2008, one of Harold’s colleagues Shamsur Rahman discovered the swindle. However, rather than alert his employers, Rahman demanded a cut and was paid £1.1m. Rahman was also jailed for four years.
They were discovered in 2013 when an audit uncovered a small accounting discrepancy and the scam unravelled. Both Harold and Rahman pleaded guilty to the charges.
Sentencing them, Recorder Michael Wood QC said: “This was an appalling breach of trust [that] went on for six years and I have no doubt it would have continued but for an audit carried out and the fraud discovered.”
“You, Mr. Harold, were employed as a payroll administrator who was trained to use the computer system. You squandered your £1.2m in casinos and taxis and, as I understand it, you have nothing to show for it.
“I accept you showed great remorse, but it’s hard to imagine a worse abuse of trust.”