Accountant jailed after string of fraudulent thefts

An accountant managed to steal over £250,000 from a leading barristers’ chambers, and has consequently been jailed for more than seven years.

Ayaz Ali, using his position as an accountant, plundered £252,919 from Red Lion Court chambers by forging signatures on “at least 41” cheques.

This is reportedly not Ali’s only crime. He stole £98,000 from a PR company, Garnett Keeler, and left Wide Area Communications £78,000 worse off.

By posing as his own father, the accountant managed to take another £14,000 from Peppermint Designer Kids Limited.

Ali apparently had a fraudulent past which he managed to cover up with fake paperwork, and because he was a “non-assuming, non-threatening, middle-aged man,” his employers didn’t question him.

“Each fraud was committed on the people or businesses that employed you and each fraud involved a gross breach of trust,” said Judge Anthony Leonard QC.

The house that Ali was living in, located in Surrey, had a rent reportedly over £6,000 a month, which would have been beyond his means to pay, had he not carried out his crimes.

Prosecutor Heather Hope described Ali’s actions as “a cynical, calculated and systematic fraud by the defendant, where he goes into a company and drains it dry for his own benefit.”

Ali’s defence said that he “came under very serious financial stress… he began to gamble taking loans from payday lenders and from loan sharks directly… Following the loss of his mother in 2012 he fell apart and what he did was to gamble even more, spiralling deeper down the hole.”

The fraudulent accountant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seven years and three months in jail.