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Freight finance chief does time for fraud

[ August 23, 2011   //   ]

A former freight company finance chief has been sentenced to three years in prison for fraud. Michael Clark, 55, financial director at Dartford-based SBS Worldwide, stole a total of over £1 million between 2001 and 2010 through fraudulent expense claims, unauthorised bonuses, director’s accounts, company cheques paying for personal credit cards and cheques made payable to himself, according to Kent Police.

Clark, who admitted three offences of theft, four of false accounting and one of furnishing false information at a previous hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on 15 July, was jailed for three years on 11 August. However, his sentence was reduced by a year as he agreed to pay the entire sum back. The court was told that Clark had sold a home he owned and so far repaid £750,000.

He also denied stealing a further £39,0oo from the company, and the charge was left on file.

However, SBS vowed to bounce back from the setback, saying it had launched a supply chain consultancy and strengthened its management team in the last year. Chairman Steve Walker said the company had moved on from the fraud.

“The handling of this matter has been led by our non-executive director, Geoff Gillo,” said Mr Walker. “This has ensured that the board has been free to concentrate on the on-going development of our diverse business. As the fraud related to prior periods, there has been no impact on the financial reserves of the business, which remain strong.”

“Over the last year, we have invested in strengthening our management team and have established Virtualized Logistics, as we have adapted our business from being trade lane specific to focussing on a supply chain model on three, soon to be four, continents,” he added.