Man avoids jail term despite attempting to defraud company
Suspended sentence only for convicted fraudster
A NORTHOLT man was among four people sentenced for attempting to defraud a housing association out of almost £450,000.
James McMasters was found guilty of acquiring criminal property and was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment on Thursday September 22, suspended for one year. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was sentenced along with Adeshola Dada, who was sentenced for five years; Danielle Gillian Brown, who was given a suspended sentence of nine months; and Ansar Ali, who was given a suspended two-year sentence.
The court heard Dada, who had previously been convicted of fraud in 2005, had abused his position in the IT department of Genesis Housing Association to amend the passwords of two employees.
He then diverted payments destined for genuine suppliers into the account of a company called Factwise Limited, which was run by Ali.
The company became aware of the scam in June 2011, but managed to stop a payment of £290,090, which was due to leave their accounts on July 1 that year.
But an initial payment of £138,788 had already been made to Factwise, and by the time the fraud was discovered some of the money had gone missing.
Records showed that Ali’s company had subsequently transferred sums of around £10,000 into the accounts of McMasters and Brown.
Det Con Kris Mason, who led the investigation, said: “Thankfully, the internal checks within the company meant they were quickly able to identify this criminal action, block the payments and report the crime to police.
“This was a complex and prolonged investigation but I am glad that all four people involved have been dealt with and convicted through the courts.”