HFW in Australia was fleeced of millions of dollars by a light-fingered member of staff, RollOnFriday can reveal.

A member in the accounts team who was "addicted to gambling", according to a source, stole funds totalling several million Australian dollars from HFW. The firm had to make an insurance claim in respect of the lost money, said the source.

Following an internal review in January 2019, the firm identified unauthorised payments from the firm's Australian office accounts "by a now former employee of our Melbourne office," a HFW spokesman confirmed.

"We took legal action against the former employee, who admitted liability, and we reported the matter to the relevant authorities, including the police," said the spokesman. "The event was covered by our insurance and no clients were adversely affected."

The spokesman added the matter "is in the hands of the police", and "so it is not appropriate for us to comment further."

A fraud of several million dollars is clearly a huge breach of trust, albeit not quite as heinous as the HFW partner who allegedly cheated in the firm's Christmas quiz a few years ago. And in 2015 an employee was given a suspended sentence when they used the firm's money to buy hundreds of mobile phones.

Give to your firm, don't take, by rating it in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2021 Survey:

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William Hills 15 January 21 08:10

Betting is a mug’s game, very rare you see a poor bookie.

Anon 15 January 21 08:19

Not the first time something like this has happened at Holmans. Let's go back a few years and recall the IT insider in London that was stealing iPhones!!! 

Anonymous 15 January 21 08:34

I always think stories like this are really sad. They worked in accounts within a law firm, so they must have been smart enough to know how it was going to end, but so desperate that they did it anyway. A life ruined.

Anon 15 January 21 12:05

Not the first time this has happened in a law firm. I wonder if the FD is deemed culpable for letting this slip under the radar? You’d like to think something like this would raise questions about the management of the firm’s Finance team, but probably not.

Anonymous 15 January 21 13:09

Ince & Co beat HFW hands down at this game! https://www.rollonfriday.com/news-content/exclusive-jailed-ex-ince-co-partner-wins-lawyer-year

Anonymous 15 January 21 16:17

Gambling addiction seems to be behind a huge proportion of these sorts of employee thefts.  

I'm as close to a libertarian as you'll find but I really wish they'd just ban it.  It destroys so many people.

Paddy 15 January 21 17:04

Plenty of people who gamble, enjoy it and don't have any problems.

Ano 17 January 21 22:08

Gambling increased in Australia during covid. 

Toby Qlord - Freeman on the Internet 19 January 21 08:19

Wouldn't have got caught if he'd used the face/off machine.

Everyone knows that's what Trump's done with Biden.

And he's got away with it.

Toby Qlord - Freeman on the Internet 19 January 21 08:21

Everything you need to know about the Face/Off machine is here.


Victor 21 January 21 16:41

A drink or a flutter, yes it can be harmful for some but enriches the lives of so many

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