Payroll Fraudster gets jail

Payroll Fraudster at Birmingham City FC gets Jail

After pocketing more than £45,000 from the football club by adding fictional staff to the payroll, a former Birmingham City FC employee has been jailed.

Peter Smith (64) was sentenced to an 18 month jail term at Birmingham Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to payroll fraud.

Smith was employed as a safety officer by Birmingham City Football, a position of trust which he abused by adding his wife, daughter-in-law and a completely fictitious person to the payroll.

Between December 2009 and April 2012, a three year period, Smith added various people to the payroll for payment despite no work being carried out by any of them.

Senior crown prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Angela Millington, said: “Peter Smith was employed by Birmingham City Football Club as their safety officer, a job which involved the club putting a lot of trust in him as he had the responsibility of ensuring the safety and welfare of fans and club officials.  He exploited the club’s employment practices for greed and self-importance, but has paid the penalty for his abuse of the club’s trust.”

An internal audit in April last year uncovered the fraud at the St Andrews-based club. MD at Employer Services Limited, Stuart Hall, said: “With RTI it should be harder for fictitious records to get through but payroll needs to be doing its own checks as well and not just relying on HMRC.”

The CPS are now taking steps to recover the stolen funds.

Payroll is particularly vulnerable to fraud.  Usually the most senior and trusted personnel are responsible for the payroll activity making it more difficult to identify fraud when it occurs.  Research carried out indicates that the current economic pressures on individuals have contributed to an increase in fraudulent activity in the payroll function.  Clearly, it is imperative to have adequate internal controls to place to monitor the recipients and the amounts of pay received.

Outsourcing payroll to a reputable payroll provider like Paycheck Plus can bring another layer of security and control to the process.  The team at Paycheck Plus will be happy to discuss a number of steps you can take to assist in a payroll audit to mitigate payroll fraud in your organisation.

For further information about the range of services from Paycheck Plus contact us today or call 01 9059400 for further information.