A Holman Fenwick Willan employee who used the firm's money to buy hundreds of mobile phones has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Sarah Millet, an administrative assistant in the firm's IT department for six years, spent £50,000 of HFW's cash buying 239 mobile phones, including 215 iPhones. The only thing was, the firm hadn't actually ordered the phones, and never received them. Millet was confronted by the firm when she was caught on CCTV writing fake invoices for the devices, and it was subsequently discovered that she had ordered them using her own email address.

    "Hello there, Holman is an unusual name"

"Yes. Just stack them there"

Despite being caught doing everything except selling them out of a suitcase in The Crown and Anchor, Millet denied being involved and accused other members of staff of perpetrating the fraud. She continued to profess her innocence after she was sacked and charged with fraud by abuse of position, and only changed her plea at the last minute at the Old Bailey. During the trial it was revealed that a police officer friend had advised her to deny everything and "front it out".

After admitting her guilt, Millet maintained that another HFW employee was involved and offered evidence against them, although the CPS decided that the information wasn't sufficient to enable it to proceed. RollOnFriday asked HFW if the staff member in question was still with the firm, but a spokeswoman declined to comment, or couldn't because someone had stolen her phone.

Judge Richard Horne QC told Miller that she had committed a "serious" breach of trust, adding that the advice she received from her friend in the police was "disgraceful". He said that, because Millet was suffering from thyroid cancer, he would be "exceptionally generous" and spare her a custodial sentence.

Millet received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to pay back £41,200 to the firm and £8,800 to its insurers.
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Anonymous 23 October 15 10:12

"Get ill, avoid punishment." That's Lord Janner's motto (actually, maybe his is "have influential friends who have quiet words and pull strings").