The former head of finance at WPP agency Geometry Global, who stole almost £500,000 to fund his gambling and cocaine addiction, has been spared jail after the judge handed him a two-year suspended sentence.
Andrew Slater of Blackheath was found guilty of six counts of fraud last month at Southwark Crown Court. Sentencing, Judge Alistair McCreath said he must carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and wear an electronic tag which prevents him leaving his house between 6pm and 6am for the next year.
The court had heard how Slater diverted funds meant for HMRC to his personal account, using a fake form for employee expenses and benefits. At its height, Slater was spending up to £1,000 a week on cocaine.
He immediately confessed when interviewed by police and pleaded guilty when he first appeared in court. Slater has since paid back almost £150,000 but still owes more than £300,000. It is not known how long he worked at Geometry Global; the case dates back to 2014.
Judge McCreath cited Slater’s young children, his obvious remorse and the fact he is now sober and does not gamble as reasons for suspending the sentence.
Geometry Global was launched in 2013 as WPP’s worldwide activation and shopper-marketing network from the merger of G2 and OgilvyAction. It offers consumer activation, trade marketing, shopper marketing, one-to-one marketing and digital activation.
The group operates in 56 markets and has 4,000 staff.
In a statement, Geometry Global said: “As soon as we became aware of the situation in November 2014, we conducted an immediate and full investigation, subsequently passing the results to and cooperating with the police. The legal process then followed its own course.”
In March this year, Communisis executive assistant Jean Tugwete was 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.
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