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Telford man who defrauded employer of over £500k ordered to pay back the proceeds of his crimes

A Telford man who defrauded his employer of more than £500,000, has been ordered to pay back the proceeds of his crimes.

Jonathan Lucas, aged 54, of Waterlow Close, Telford was the Financial Controller for SP SERVICES in Telford, a company that supplies medical & safety equipment for the Armed Services, Public Services and NHS and others.

Lucas held this position for around 10 years and was fully trusted to oversee all the financial accounting for the company. He was also listed as the company secretary.

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In October 2017 Lucas was suspended from his post following an unconnected allegation. Whilst on suspension the defendant was asked to carry out a pay roll run under close supervision. It was during this process that discrepancies were noted and the thefts identified. The subsequent investigation ascertained that the defendant had systematically stolen £443,887.00.

Lucas fully admitted stealing from his employer and on 25th March 2019 at Shrewsbury Crown Court he pleaded guilty to Fraud by Abuse of Authority. On 26th April 2019 at Shrewsbury Crown Court, Lucas was sentenced to 46 Months imprisonment.

On 18th November 2022 at Shrewsbury Crown Court, a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2022 was made whereby Lucas’s benefit figure from the crime was agreed to be £553,120.50. The amount Lucas was found to have available was £220,077.47 and a Compensation Order was made to the former owner of SP Services for that amount. Lucas was given three months to pay the £220,077.47, otherwise he will be sentenced to a period of imprisonment in default of payment.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, of the Economic Crime Unit, West Mercia Police, said, “Lucas has been stripped of the trappings of his crime by powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act, as a result of a financial investigation by West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit. A Confiscation Order imposed, means he must pay the victim back £220,077.47, or face time in prison. Lucas abused his position of trust within the company and this order goes some way to compensate the victim, who has been impacted by the criminal conduct of Lucas.”

“Furthermore, should Lucas be found to have further assets in the future, he will be required to pay these back, until the total amount of £553,120.50 has been satisfied. This case demonstrates that those who commit serious fraud will be tackled by West Mercia Police; both by bringing them to justice and by removing the proceeds of the crimes, to compensate victims.”

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