Accountant defrauded Portsmouth firm of thousands to fund web gambling

FRAUD Lawrence Moyse
FRAUD Lawrence Moyse

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AN ACCOUNTANT who was addicted to gambling stole more than £18,000 from his car dealer employers.

Lawrence Moyse was jailed for 22 months after a judge heard he had drained the cash from the company by writing cheques made out to himself.

He spent the cash on internet betting sites.

Moyse covered up previous convictions for fraud to get a job as the finance ledger clerk for Perry’s Motor Sales in Walton Road, Farlington, Portsmouth.

Once he started work he soon began stealing from the company.

And between October 2010 and January this year he got hold of £18,241.50, which he spent with Betfair online.

Moyse would write out cheques of a couple of thousand pounds at a time and forge two signatures of his senior colleagues.

He was caught after the company noticed money was missing and launched an investigation.

Despite his apparent suitability for the job Moyse had lied on his CV to cover up previous convictions for 33 offences.

In 2000, while working as a finance assistant, he stole £19,000 from his employers and in 2006 he got £11,000 after lying to get a job. All of the money was spent on gambling.

William Ashworth, defending, said Moyse had come clean and admitted what he had done, rather than try to blame someone else, once the scam was uncovered.

‘The defendant has a gambling addiction, rather than a desire for a luxury lifestyle,’ he said.

‘He is a very quietly-spoken, respectable gentleman.’

Moyse, of Bettesworth Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of fraud by false representation and one of failing to disclose information in applying for the job. Recorder Edward Burgess said Moyse’s crimes were made worse by the fact that he had committed similar offences in the past.

He said: ‘I have to sentence you for offences that amount to a serious breach of trust that was placed in you, a trust that to some extent was always based on a false basis.

‘There’s no doubt in my judgement that this case is far too serious to be dealt with by any other means other than the immediate imposition of a custodial sentence.’

He added: ‘I accept to some extent that the behaviour that you perpetrated was not highly sophisticated.’