Finance director stole £100k from Gainsborough firm with fake invoices

A businessman created false invoices to carry out a £100,000 fraud, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Craig Spencer, the finance director of Gainsborough firm CWM Automation, was caught out when the firm was bought out by another company and checks were carried out.

Paul Mytton, prosecuting, said that a number of irregularities were discovered in the accounts and an investigation revealed that Spencer had created 37 false invoices from existing customers which had been paid into his personal bank account.

Mr Mytton told the court: “In September 2018, after what appears to have been a period of protracted negotiation, CWM were acquired Hexadex Ltd.

“Craig Spencer remained in post as finance director. However in December 2018 it came to light that there were irregularities. Craig Spencer was suspended after a meeting. At that meeting, after initial hesitation, he said he had made mistakes and had been experiencing problems.

“What he had done was to create fictitious accounts and invoices relating to existing customers. A total of £108,473 was involved.”

When Spencer was interviewed by police had admitted what he had done. He later repaid the £108,000 to the company.

Spencer, 45, of Nursery Vale, Morton, near Gainsborough, admitted a charge of fraud by abuse of position between December 2015 and November 2018.

He was given a 12 month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and a three month electronically-monitored night time curfew. He was also disqualified from being a company director for two years.

James Gray, in mitigation, said Spencer had got into financial difficulties after taking out a large loan which he used to buy shares in CWM.

“He thought it was a wise financial decision. It proved to be the worst financial decision.”

Mr Gray said that Spencer was due to be paid a cash dividend later but feared the money might not be available at the relevant time. As a result he went on to commit the fraud because he needed money to make repayments on the loan he had taken out.

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