Wilson Henry Forensic Team led by Hilene Henry acted as expert witness in Lancashire Fraud Trial involving three individuals colluding to defraud their employer. This resulted in main culprit being given a long custodial sentence.
The trio, who had worked at LS Systems, a horticultural firm in Tarleton, Lancashire were arrested by officers after suspicious activity was reported in company accounts in 2014.
Wilson Henry were initially engaged to review the accounts system and quickly discovered a number of suspicious transactions that had been made in previous years, with large sums of money withdrawn. These included:
- £27,000 diversion of product to home to allow branded footwear to be sold below cost online
- £150,000 Illegal money transfers using dummy employee records in certain instances;
- £600,000 extorted using fictitious purchase invoicing to buy three and renovate properties.
- £100,000 diversion of online bank account balances
All three were arrested and charged with conspiring to steal and removing criminal property. The main culprit was was jailed for seven years and three months on March 2 following a trial at Preston Crown Court. The other two received suspended sentences.
Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings have now begun to help recover some of the money which was stolen.
Hilene Henry who led the team and gave expert witness evidence at the trial commented;
“Most businesses think Fraud is something which happens to others and not to them. This case is a massive call to action for all businesses to ensure that their systems are set up to protect them. It is easy for someone to con business owners into thinking they are acting in their best interests and not stealing from them. This is the tip of the iceberg. As we speak a fraud is being committed in a small business somewhere in the North West every second of every day. The need to properly vet who you are employing and how you are controlling what they do has never been more palpable.”
For more information on how you can protect your business against fraud and your FREE White Paper FRAUD GUIDE call us on 0151 264 8888 or email Hilene.Henry@wilsonhenry.co.uk.
We are increasingly seeing our clients face higher interest rates and charges when they come to renew their funding facilities and feel they have no option but to renew on those terms. We strongly advise taking the following steps in advance of renewal dates so you are not forced to accept the offer put to you without knowing whether it’s the best available:
1. Plan well ahead – it’s useful to understand in advance what the level of your borrowings and facilities are likely to be at your renewal date and whether you need to maintain, reduce or increase your current facilities.
2. Update your cash flow – as part of your planning process it’s important that you have the facts at your fingertips to help determine future needs. Having up to date robust cash flow projections is critical, particularly if you need to plan for changes in the business. Wilson Henry are highly skilled and experienced in making finance proposals to funders and we know exactly what information they are looking for and how it should be presented.
3. Understand what funders’ debenture cover means – the rates you are being charged will not only reflect current trading conditions specific to you and your sector but also the security you are offering lenders both in terms of debt repayment cover (number of time operating profit covers debt servicing ) and asset cover in terms of the valuation of assets pledged compared to borrowings. We can provide you with an independent assessment of whether you are a good risk to lenders and what rates you can expect to pay.
4. Review the market – certain banks will have more appetite for certain business in certain sectors than others. Don’t assume your current lender will necessarily be offering the best terms. We can help you in appraising the market.
5. Have the right mix of finance – it may be the case that you should reconsider the types of funding you have in place and whether it’s appropriate and fit for purpose. Are you, for example using short term finance (eg overdraft) to fund long term investment? We can quickly assess whether your current funding structure is appropriate for your needs for today and beyond.
6. Speak to Wilson Henry! – we are entirely independent and have access to a wide spread of funders of all types (not just banks) so can help you review your needs and so help advise what works best for you on reasonable terms that reflect your business risk.
I very much welcome the opportunity to have a chat about your current funding facilities and future needs!