Two greedy businessmen have been jailed after a court heard how they sold off thousands of pounds worth of company mobile phones.
David Bradshaw, 50, of Shot Tower Close in Chester, was managing director of Control Group Services Ltd based at Sealand near Chester.
CGS Ltd, the British Arm of an American company, provided services to out of town shopping centres and retail premises including security and cleaning.
But Mold Crown Court heard how despite earning between £100,000 and £120,000 a year, Bradshaw set about ordering mobile phones which were not needed by the company and sold them on.
He also sold a company car and kept the £15,000 proceeds and was jailed for four years.
Bradshaw was also banned from being the director of a company for the next five years after Judge david Hale told him he was not fit to be a director.
Company secretary Warren Clays, 39, of Plas Maen Home Farm, Ffrwd Road at Cefnybedd near Mold, who earned £50,000 a year after climbing up the ladder despite leaving school with no qualifications, was jailed for 32 months.
The court heard that unusually Clays had not spent the money he had received and that that it was all still available in a bank account.
An investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act will now take place to see how much of their ill-gotten gains can be recovered.
Judge Hale said that 303 mobile phones had been sold on for some £90,000.
But the company also faced a further £33,000 bill by being responsible for monthly contracts for phones which they did not have,.
It was, the judge said, a prolonged fraud against their employers.
He said it was a breach of trust because Bradshaw was the MD, in day to day charge.
It was a quite deliberate fraud where they ordered company mobile phones and sold them for personal profit.
They tried to hide what they were doing and both knew about an arrangement where a company customer was asked to provide false invoices to try and cover up what they were doing.
Judge Hale said that it had been suggested that the fraud had been responsible for the demise of the company not only in the UK but in America too.
But he said that he would not proceed on that basis because he had wholly inadequate information about the state of the American business.
However the defendants had “disregarded the ordinary standards of management and honesty” which had done the British part of the company “immense harm.”
When the company considered selling the British part of the company they found that its reputation as an asset was damaged.
Both admitted that for a period up to April, 2014, they conspired together to commit fraud by making a false representation, namely the sale of company mobile phones.
Bradshaw also admitted a fraud by selling a company vehicle, intending to make a gain of £15,000 for himself.
David Mainstone, prosecuting, said that in 2014 a consultant was taken on to investigate anomalies in the company finances and Bradshaw was dismissed in May 2014.
The company took legal action against him and obtained a £160,000 civil judgement against him.
A total of £130,000 was repaid when his house was sold. That was nothing to do with the current charges.
Police investigating the activities of a man named Jozsef Poor in London – who had been jailed for various offences involving mobile phones – they found that a large number of mobiles, about 300, had been provided by the defendants, initially through eBay.
CGS had 78 employees who needed mobiles and of the 303 phones taken out in the company name only ten were legitimate phone contracts. The others were taken out although the company did not need them, and were sold on.
The court was told that neither had previous convictions.
Matthew Curtis, for Bradshaw, said that he was a broken man who had been twice divorced.
He had been a man with a significant standing commercially and within his personal life but he had lost everything. The defendant had made admissions to the company and then to the police.
The defendant had tried to set up a business himself but that had failed.
Stephen Edwards, for Clays, said that all the money he had received had been retained.
He had £174,000 in a bank account which included some of his own savings.
The defendant had been a talented footballer but was homesick, returned home as a youngster and worked as a labourer.
He met Bradshaw and was taken on as an account clerks and worked his way up to become company secretary.
Clays had not been the driving force but a plot was hatched to sell surplus mobile phones and he had gone along with it.
Both said that they had pleaded guilty and had the matter hanging over them for a very long time.