Woman sentenced for stealing nearly £25,000 from her employer after being fired
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A woman from South London has been sentenced after a City of London Police investigation found that she had stolen £24,715.39 from her employer, The Mulsanne Partnership.
Damini Shah, 26, of Norbury Crescent, Norbury, London, was sentenced to fourteen months imprisonment suspended for two years, 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £650 in costs, at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday 13 July 2021.
Shah abused her position at an executive search company in the City to steal substantial amounts of money from corporate bank accounts, as well as making purchases for personal items and overpaying her wages.
Detective Sergeant Barry Murray, from the City of London Police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID), said:
“Whilst investigations showed that Shah had already committed a number of fraudulent transactions early into her employment, it seems that the termination of her contract really ramped up her criminal activity. Shah was even brazen enough to continue stealing from the company after she left.
“This verdict shows that no matter how bitter a person may feel after being dismissed from a job, stealing from an employer is not a justified reaction and offenders will be rightfully punished.”
Shah joined the company in November 2019 as Office Manager, responsible for a number of tasks which involved using company bank accounts and credit cards. Around nine months later, Shah’s contract was terminated due to underperformance, on the agreement that she would work six weeks’ paid notice.
During a handover with her successor, Shah became evasive over providing certain information, including the log in details for the company’s Amazon account. A few days after a heated exchange, Shah took sick leave and did not return to work.
A review of the company accounts after Shah’s sudden departure immediately raised a number of anomalies, suggesting that fraudulent transactions had been made.
Around the time that Shah had been notified of her dismissal, a transfer of £7,630.99 was made from the company’s bank account into her personal account. A direct payment of £3291.55 to a credit card company was also discovered. Checks into Shah’s financial situation revealed that she had two credit cards with outstanding balances matching the exact amount of the transactions and that she had used these funds to pay these off.
During her employment, Shah was responsible for the management of staff wages, including her own. Investigations uncovered that Shah had paid herself the equivalent of three extra monthly salaries, once in July and twice in August, totalling £7,227.64.
Payments on company credit cards amounting to £2,657.69 were found for a number of personal online transactions, including skin care products and a gym membership. The Amazon account, which Shah had refused to provide the log in details for, showed unauthorised purchases made from January to October 2020 worth £2,288.36. There were also a number of trips on the company’s UBER account during the same period which had not been approved, costing £460.01.
Additionally, investigations unearthed four expense transactions, totalling £1,691.16, which the company had no record of and were for excessive amounts in comparison to most expenses submitted.
Shah was questioned by officers on two occasions. During these interviews, Shah answered ‘no comment’ to all questions and provided a prepared statement. In the statement, Shah gave a number of excuses for the transactions, such as the salary overpayments being errors and confusing the company’s bank card numbers with her own when shopping online.
Following the interviews, Shah returned £4,818 to the company. However, she maintained that the Amazon purchases and expense transactions were legitimate, and denied owning the credit cards, despite the overwhelming evidence proving this.
The Mulsanne Partnership said:
“We are pleased with the outcome of this sentencing and hope that it sends a clear message to anyone considering stealing from their employer in this way. Fraud is not acceptable in any shape or form, and it is important that offenders are brought to justice. We would like to thank the City of London Police for their work on this case.”