CFO excluded after £200,000 invoice fraud
A CFO has been excluded from the ICAEW and faces imprisonment after raising 11 false invoices to make a personal gain of £224,754.
As reported in ICAEW’s monthly disciplinary report, Ian Ryder Marchant Ousey pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position in 2014, blaming financial difficulties that arose after he purchased a holiday home in Portugal.
Later that year Ousey was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment, which was reduced on appeal to 32 months in May 2015.
Between October 2008 and November 2013, while serving as CFO for an unnamed company, Ousey submitted 11 invoices to a non-existent consultancy firm to the tune of 284,391 Euros.
Ousey was the most senior officer with responsibility for the management of the group’s financial affairs. Prior to the discovery of the fraud he had entered into a compromise agreement following redundancy on 18 January 2013, agreeing to cease his duties on 27 March 2013 and was then placed on gardening leave for 12 months.
His former company unravelled the extent of his fraud when false invoices, unauthorised credit card expenses and unauthorised employee benefits totalling £715,045 were discovered.
Ousey’s contract was terminated in May 2013 once he admitted to using a French credit card without the consent of his company over a 17-year timeline. Further evidence emerged after two LLPs discovered Ousey had submitted 11 invoices between October 2008 and November 2012 to a non-existent consultancy firm.
He had used the false invoices to maintain a property in Portugal, which became apparent when evidence of the false invoices was discovered on his computer’s hard drive.
After being caught, Ousey stated that his dishonest behaviour had started out with small deceptions but soon escalated after he became accustomed “to the extra income and benefits”.
His descent into fraud began after he used a £400,000 bonus to purchase a holiday home, which resulted in him falsifying invoices to sustain the costs.
Ousey commented that he greatly regretted his actions, and admitted that they fell below what was expected of him. He claimed that he intended on repaying the money, but this slipped after his contract was terminated
The ICAEW tribunal considered Ousey’s actions to be of the most serious end of misconduct. In its conclusion, the tribunal said: “The public are entitled to have complete confidence in the integrity and honesty of those within the profession – his conduct greatly undermines that confidence.”
The tribunal determined that “nothing short of exclusion from membership” was warranted.