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Man sentenced for stealing over £31,000 from employer following report to Action Fraud

Ian Burleton, 42, from Stratford, worked as a Revenue Controller for a law firm in the City of London
Over a year and a half, he diverted 13 company payments to a service provider into his own account, totalling £31,970
His employer made a report to Action Fraud and it was passed to the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad to investigate 

A man has been sentenced after he diverted £31,970 worth of payments from his employer to a service provider, into his and his partner’s bank account. 

On Monday 18 November 2019, at Southwark Crown Court, Ian Burleton, 42, of Gordon Road, Stratford, London was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also received a 30 day Rehabilitation Order and 180 hours unpaid community work. 

Burleton previously pleaded guilty on Monday 16 September 2019 at the City of London Magistrates Court to one count of fraud by abuse of position.

The City of London Police’s Fraud Squad led on the case and launched their investigation following a report made to Action Fraud by the company Burleton worked for as a Revenue Controller. In his role, he was responsible for setting up and scheduling payments to the company’s service providers. 

The company’s suspicions were initially raised after one of their service providers claimed they hadn’t been paid for three consecutive months. An inspection of the banking records revealed that Burleton had changed the account details on the invoices for this service provider, and diverted three payments into his own bank account. 

Upon discovering this, Burleton was dismissed by the company and further investigation showed he’d diverted an additional 10 payments, to a second account in his name in an attempt to conceal the funds.

Detective Constable Simon Andrews, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: 

“Burleton was a wholly deceitful person, abusing the trust put in him by his employer and exploiting his knowledge of their systems to manipulate those around him, including service providers.”

“Thanks to Burleton’s employer acting on their suspicions and reporting him to Action Fraud, we have been able to expose him for the serial fraudster that he is.”

In defence of his actions, Burleton claimed his offending was triggered by large child maintenance bills he needed to pay. However, analysis of his outgoing payments revealed evidence of him spending large sums of money on flights, holidays and at expensive bars and restaurants.  

A victim surcharge will be considered pending the result of the post-conviction confiscation proceedings. 

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