Manager jailed for six years over company fraud

The man’s illicit activity funded Harley Davidsons, a hot tub and several skiing holidays in the United States.

Manager jailed for six years over company fraud
A former Bombardier manager has been jailed for six years after stealing around $1.5 million from the transport giant.

Andrew Saunders – who worked in the firm’s UK-based railway division – abused his position to fund a lavish lifestyle, including purchasing Harley Davidsons, a hot tub and several skiing holidays in the United States.

According to Sussex police, Saunders – who was the manager of Bombardier’s Brighton site – manipulated the payment system and deposited company money into four fake business accounts.

The 52-year-old also charged Bombardier for services apparently carried out by his ex-wife’s and his friend’s companies, even issuing fake invoices for them – it was later discovered that the funds were transferred into his own accounts.

Saunders was on sick leave when the company discovered the fraud, police were called immediately.

While attempting to defend himself in court, Saunders used complex figures and diagrams before blaming his ex-wife and friends.

However, Judge Paul Tain found the former manager guilty on Monday, handing down a heft six-year sentence.

Judge Paul Tain judge said he was disquieted by Saunders’ willingness to slander others in an effort to avoid blame.

“You were prepared to cast against anybody,” Tain said, as he pointed out the case was so glaringly obvious he was surprised Saunders pleaded not guilty.

Saunders was ordered to serve at least half the sentence behind bars.

Co-defendant Roy George, 55, who operated a courier service, pleaded guilty to money laundering in January. He received a two-year suspended sentence on Monday. He was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.

The company said it spent more than $1 million and internal staff time on the case. A British prosecutor service application to recover some or all of the money taken by Saunders will be heard in April.

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