Ex-Solihull Council employee from Coventry jailed for £70k fraud - The Solihull Observer

Ex-Solihull Council employee from Coventry jailed for £70k fraud

Solihull Editorial 18th Jul, 2019 Updated: 18th Jul, 2019   0

AN EX-SOLIHULL Council employee from Coventry has been jailed for fraudulently obtaining more than £75,000 while in his post.

Wesley Roberts pleaded guilty to charges under the Fraud Act 2006 at an earlier hearing on April 29 at Birmingham Crown Court.

And yesterday (Wednesday, July 17) he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Roberts was employed as the transport manager at Solihull Council from September 2015.

But an investigation was launched after information about his unlawful actions came to light via the council’s internal financial controls and whistleblowing procedures.

Officers from the council’s audit services team uncovered Roberts had presented a false qualification certificate at the start of his employment, which enabled him to get the job and receive over £47,000 of earnings.

He hired equipment and materials for his self-employed gardening business, totalling around £14,000.

He also hired vehicles for personal use which added up to approximately £22,000.

And Roberts obtained a refund from a council supplier for £4,000 which he paid directly into his own bank account.

He also raised invoices for works that hadn’t been undertaken, to the value of £21,000.

Roberts was interviewed by audit services in November 2016 and was dismissed immediately.

Cabinet member for resources, councillor Bob Sleigh, said: “We are pleased with today’s outcome and that Wesley Roberts has been handed a custodial sentence for his actions.

“We pride ourselves on the great working environment and conditions we provide to our employees.

“Roberts abused this and his position, purely for his own personal financial gain.

“His devious and unlawful behaviour was soon detected due to the effective processes we have in place.

“I hope today’s sentencing sends a clear message that people who choose to defraud the council, by whatever means, will be caught and dealt with appropriately.”

Solihull Council investigates different types of fraud including housing tenancy fraud, council tax fraud, contractor fraud, expenses fraud, cash or cheque fraud, stock theft, and purchase card misuse.

People can report fraud online at www.solihull.gov.uk/fraud, by emailing [email protected] or calling 0800 028 8535.

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