Man who defrauded more than £1.3m from Norfolk firm told to expect jail

SealSkinz

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

A 44-year old man who admitted defrauding more than £1.3m from a Norfolk firm has been told by a judge to prepare himself for custody.

Andrew May, of Philip Nurse Road, Dersingham, admitted fraud by false representation between February 1, 2015 and July 31, 2019,  earlier this year and appeared before Norwich Crown Court for a further hearing, on Wednesday.

The company involved was King's Lynn based SealSkinz, which makes outdoor clothing at its site on Oldmeadow Road.

May attended court to fix his sentencing hearing for April 8 and also to meet a probation officer to have a pre-sentence report prepared.

The sentencing hearing next month is expected to last more than one hour.

Nicola May appeared for the prosecution at the hearing and John Farmer appeared for May,

Judge Katharine Moore adjourned the case but warned May that it was a serious offence and said: "Prepare yourself for a custodial sentence."

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May was granted bail.

Mr Farmer said that as well as a pre-sentence report there would also be some medical reports from May's GP.

The charge May has admitted states that he made payments from the company's HSBC account to his personal Barclaycard account.

It also states that he created false invoices from suppliers and arranged for payments to be made into his personal account with the total amounting to £1,336,916.

At an earlier hearing before magistrates his solicitor Andrew Cogan said the offence involved gambling debts and that the total was disputed, but not by a significant amount.

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

After May pleaded guilty in January, this year, the company SealSkinz issued a statement in which it said it dealt "swiftly " to address the fraud within the business.

It said: "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."


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