FRC drops tech firm executive probe

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Robert Lovell
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The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has closed an investigation into the conduct of convicted fraudster Christopher Moore, a former member of the ACCA and executive chairman of failed cash register software company Torex Retail.

The council, which launched the investigation back in December 2013, found there was “insufficient evidence of misconduct” during the period in which Moore was a member.

It was therefore subject to the FRC’s Accountancy Scheme to give a realistic prospect that a tribunal would make an adverse finding against Moore.

Consequently no further action has been taken and the case in relation to him is closed.

In January last year Moore pleaded guilty along with former chairman Robert Loosemore to conspiring to defraud the company’s shareholders by falsely inflating by £6.5m the cash at bank/revenue figures of the company's interim results published on 14 August 2006.

The pair created a false distribution agreement worth £5m between Torex and Loosemore’s private firm Magdalen Consulting, along with a goodwill deposit agreement worth £1.5m between Torex and Loosemore.

Moore was jailed for 30 months with £100,000 costs for the deception, while Loosemore received 20 months and a £50,000 fine.

Mark Woodbridge, a lower level financial accountant within the group, also went on trial in June last year and was found guilty of conspiring with the other two defendants to defraud shareholders in late 2006 and early 2007 by creating a further variation to the bogus distribution agreement with Magdalen Consulting to sustain the original fraud. 

Woodbridge was acquitted on two charges of false accounting, but convicted on a third of causing revenue of £2m to be falsely recognised in the company's interim financial statement in August 2006.

He was jailed for three years and 10 months, disqualified from acting as a company director for three years and ordered to pay costs of £170,000.

Torex went into administration in 2007 and a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation was launched the same year.

The probe initially focused on Torex FD Christopher Ford and CTO Edwin Dayan of its subsidiary Xn Checkout, who were charged with conspiracy to defraud, false accounting and misleading an auditor between March and July 2006.


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