Sky Betting IT boss carried out £220,000 fraud in laptops scam at the company's office in Leeds

The head of IT at Sky Betting in Leeds carried out a fraud worth almost a quarter of a million pounds by selling company laptops on eBay.

Saturday, 11th July 2020, 8:20 am

Matt Richmond was jailed for two years over the scam committed while he was a senior manager at the firm's office on Wellington Place in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard Richmond abused his trusted position by ordering Apple MacBook Pros from suppliers and then selling them online

Richmond, 44, carried out the deception for almost a year before his offending came to light.

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Leeds Crown Court

James Lake, prosecuting, said an investigation was launched at the company after it was reported that he had been ordering laptops through the company account then selling them for his own gain.

Richmond, who had worked at the company for more than three years, was responsible for ordering in IT equipment .

Mr Lake said Richmond had authority to order up to £50,000 worth equipment a month before requiring a counter signature from the head of the finance department.

The court heard each employee within the company would have a laptop so it was not out of the ordinary for him to order so many.

The company used two suppliers who fitted a security and management tool to the laptops to assign it to a particular company to prevent theft.

Every laptop ordered was also fitted with a serial number which is assigned to the Sky Betting portal.

The defendant had the ability to remove serial numbers from the portal.

The company's attention was drawn to Richmond's actions due to word of mouth from other staff members that he was ordering more IT equipment than required.

E-mails were recovered showing that Richmond made contact with the suppliers asking them not to enrol the laptops onto the portal as they were going to be used as prizes.

He also claimed some laptops were to be given to graduates who go on to leave the company.

Richmond also asked for laptops to be delivered to his home address.

Mr Lake said the defendant told the suppliers that they should only deal with him and to block any other e-mails from Sky Betting employees.

The company's finance department carried out an audit which showed that Richmond ordered a total of 113 Apple MacBook Pros between January and December 2018.

All were delivered to his home address and had a combined value of £220,044

Richmond was suspended but denied any wrongdoing.

He told his bosses that the laptops "must be in the office somewhere".

An eBay account in Richmond's name showed sales of Apple MacBooks paid for via PayPal.

One particular customer bought over £159,000 worth of stock from Richmond.

Banking analysis showed £243,000 was transferred from PayPal into Richmond's bank account.

The defendant was interviewed and claimed he was responsible for ordering hardware for his employers but denied ever having laptops delivered to his address.

He was unable to provide an explanation for the amount of money in his bank account.

Mr Lake said: "He said he lost track of time because of his bipolar."

Medical records confirmed Richmond was suffering from mental health issues but was fit for work.

Richmond, of Hough End View, Bramley, pleaded guilty to fraud.

Michael Collins, mitigating, said: "It is clear that this was wholly unsophisticated and impossible to imagine circumstances where he would not be discovered."

Mr Collins said Richmond's mental health problems had been made worse by his abuse of alcohol.

The court heard that Richmond was drinking around two-and-a-half litres of vodka per day during the offending period.

Jailing Richmond, Judge Mushtaq Khokhar said: "This was a breach of trust which your employer placed in you.

"I'm afraid it has to be a custodial sentence and nothing else."