Man admits defrauding more than £1.3m from Norfolk firm


SealSkinz on Oldmedow Road in King's Lynn - Credit: Google

A 44-year-old man has admitted defrauding more than £1.3m from a Norfolk firm.

Andrew May, of Philip Nurse Road, Dersingham, admitted fraud by false representation between February 1, 2015 and July 31, 2019, when he appeared before King's Lynn magistrates.

The company involved was Lynn-based SealSkinz, which makes outdoor clothing at its site on Oldmedow Road.

According to the court papers, May made payments from the company's HSBC account to his personal Barclaycard account. 

They say he also made payments for personal expenditure using a company Barclaycard and edited statements to hide the items.

And they state he created false invoices from suppliers and arranged for payments to be made into his personal account, while the total gained was £1,336,916.88. 

Solicitor Andrew Cogan said the offence involved gambling debts and that the total was disputed but not by a significant amount.

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He also told the court that civil proceedings were ongoing which might recoup some of the amount.

Bench chairman John Hare told May: “This is obviously a huge sum of money.

“The case is so serious that it needs greater punishment than we can give.”

The matter will next be heard at Norwich Crown Court on a date to be fixed and May, who has no previous convictions, was granted unconditional bail.

After the hearing, SealSkinz said: "Sealskinz discovered and swiftly addressed an historic fraud within the business, which is being dealt with by the relevant authorities.  Following internal investigations, we are confident that there has not been any lasting operational impact upon the business.

"SealSkinz is trading well despite this fraud and the effects of Covid-19 and we are optimistic about future growth.

"Sealskinz is committed to continuing to produce the highest quality outdoor products, and we appreciate the continued support and engagement of our consumers and retail partners."

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