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image of Ayaz Ali
Image of Ayaz Ali

Accountant who siphoned half a million pounds from employers to payback money stolen from another employer jailed for seven years

An accountant who abused his position to siphon off almost half a million pounds from multiple employers to payback money he had stolen from another employer has been jailed for seven years and three months.

Ayaz Ali, aged 50 (DOB 25/01/1965) of no fixed abode, had previously pleaded guilty to defrauding four different employers in two years following investigations by the City of London and Metropolitan police forces.

Between February and June 2013 Ali fraudulently drew down 19 cheques, forging signatures from colleagues, from website development services company Wide Area Communications to the value of £78,772.29.

From May 2013 to March 2014 he forged signatures on 42 cheques from Red Lion Chambers, making them payable to beneficiaries who had no legitimate association with the law firm, valued at £252,919.33.

July to November 2014 he made 11 unauthorised bank transfers from Garnett Keeler Public Relations to accounts held by himself and his family to the value of £97,974.85.

Between December 2014 and February 2015 he made a series of unauthorised cheque payments, again forging colleagues’ signatures and using his father’s name, from Peppermint Designer Kids Ltd to the value of £13,802.32.

Ali came to the attention of the City of London Police’s Money Laundering Investigation Unit (MLIU) in March 2014 when his then employer, Red Lion Chambers, reviewed his work transactions and became suspicious.

He was arrested that same month at his home on Grimwade Avenue in Surrey and was bailed pending further enquiries.

In police interview Ali admitted he was subject to a civil court freezing order having misappropriated around £3.5 million from another previous employer, a drinks company, ending in 2009. He said he had stolen the money from Red Lion Chambers to payback money he still owed under that order and to maintain his lifestyle including paying for his son’s wedding, property rentals and car hires.

In November 2013, on being arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service a Red Lion Chambers cheque with a forged signature was found at his home.

Ali used false identity documents, forged references and lied about his identity to continue to be able to gain employment while police and court proceedings were underway.

Earlier today (Monday 22nd June) at Southwark Crown Court, Ali was handed:

  • Two years and six months for fraud by false representation against Wide Area Communications.
  • Two years and three months for fraud by abuse of position against Red Lion Chambers.
  • One year and six months for fraud by abuse of position against Garnett Keeler Public Relations.
  • One year for fraud by false representation against Peppermint Designer Kids Ltd.

The jail time is to run consecutively, with 100 days already served on remand and time on electronic tag to be deducted.

Detective Sergeant David Morris, of the City of London Police’s Money Laundering Investigation Unit, said: “Ali did not learn from his previous behaviour, relentlessly stealing from his employers to payback debts and maintain a lifestyle more privileged than his means.

“That he used false personal information to gain positions of financial control and continued to offend while on police bail demonstrates just how determined he was to steal from those who placed their trust in him.

“Thanks to the diligence of his employers and the work of the City of London and Metropolitan police forces, Ali will have plenty of time to contemplate his crimes behind bars.”

An application to confiscate the money Ali made from his crime spree has been made to the court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. ​