IT supervisor stole £80,000 from firm he labored for to fund gambling habit

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A fraudster scammed a small business out of more than £80,000 and stole funds from their charity to fund his gambling addiction. 

Sohan Basu, from Portsmouth, was employed as an IT accounts manager at Prestige Promotiond in Ivinghoe Aston between 2010 and 2018. 

He had been siphoning cash from a company bank account into two that he had set up in his boss’s name. 

Suspicion was raised in the summer of 2018 when the company director, a man in his sixties, noticed a number of outgoings from his company bank account that he didn’t recognise. 

They were labelled as being his own expenses, but he had never paid them to himself. 

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He reported the fraud to the police and an investigation revealed more than £45,000 had been transferred into two accounts in the company director’s name. 

Basu, 52, had set up the account in his boss’s name to avoid suspicion and then used ATMs to withdraw tens of thousands of pounds. 

Cheques were also found to have been stolen from company property and deposited into the fake accounts – as were funds from a charity the company set up to support children in Africa. 

Despite being arrested in connection with the crimes in March 2019, the blatant fraudster continued to target the same man. 

In 2020, the boss began receiving parking fines and notices of prosecution for traffic offences involving a vehicle he knew nothing about.

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Further investigation revealed Basu had registered a vehicle with the DVLA in the name of the victim, and had also set up a direct debit using his bank details to pay the insurance policy.

In total, Basu was convicted of fraud amounting to over £81,000.

A substantial amount of the stolen money had been spent on gambling.

Giving evidence in court, the company director said he had always trusted Basu “implicitly” and had felt completely “under siege” at his hands when the crimes were discovered.

Investigating officer Detective Constable James Lacey, of Aylesbury CID, said: “This was a protracted, complex and sophisticated fraud, carried out over many years against not only a small business but additionally a charity, by an employee who was in a position of trust and motivated by a serious gambling addiction.

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“Sohan Basu went to extreme lengths to ensure his stealing went undetected, even to the point of setting up bank accounts in fake names, with the sole purpose of syphoning large sums of money from his employer.

“He also made use of false identities, driving licences, and mailboxes in names other than his own, in his unsuccessful attempts to avoid prosecution.

“The fact he continued his fraud even after his first arrest demonstrates that he held both his employer and the justice system in complete contempt, so I am pleased he has now been convicted of these offences and subsequently remanded in custody, where he is unable to cause further damage.

“I hope this finally offers the victim some reassurance, and sends out a message that both financial and cyber-crime will not be tolerated.”