A Communisis executive assistant – understood to be chief executive Andy Blundell’s PA – has been jailed for three and a half years after being found guilty of falsifying company credit card statements to hide a massive £264,000 spending spree.
Jean Tugwete, 41, defrauded the company out of £264,274 while employed at its London headquarters. Between April 2012 and February 2015, she bought flights, TVs, iPads and even a new soft-top car on the company card.
She spent almost £16,000 at House of Fraser, bought a Peugeot 307 cabriolet for £9,000, spent £17,000 at Costco and purchased a £4,500 sofa from DFS.
Tugwete perpetrated the fraud by disguising credit card transactions as plausible business expenses and altering statements before scanning them back in and sending them to the finance department for processing.
But in February 2015, colleagues became suspicious that Tugwete was submitting false invoices. Original statements were requested from the credit card company, and discrepancies totalling £264,000 were subsequently identified.
DS Simon Russen said after the sentencing: “Tugwete completely abused her position of trust within the company for her personal gain. This should serve as a stark warning to anyone who may be tempted of doing the same – fraud is a serious offence, you will be found out and you will get a criminal conviction and could face time in prison.”
Tugwete was sentenced at the Old Bailey to three years and six months in jail, having previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and false accounting.
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