A pair of fraudsters have been jailed for their part in a con that saw £250,000 swindled from a Derbyshire care company.
David Draycott and David Ward have this week been jailed for their part in the scam that dated back to 2009.
Draycott and Ward, both previously of Bosworth Way, Anstey, Leicester, were charged alongside a third man, the then managing director of Your Health Limited, Robert Farrell, at their trial last year.
Farrell employed Draycott and Ward to undertake various works for Your Health Limited, in Swadlincote, which they charged exorbitantly inflated rates for. Cars serviced at Draycott’s garage were subject to 'eye-watering' high prices – as much as 1,400 per cent more than they should have cost.
Further fraudulent activity uncovered by officers found Draycott and Ward created false businesses that were used to submit invoice vastly inflated bills, duplicate invoices and charges for work that never needed to be carried out or was never, in fact, completed.
Over a two year period more than £1million was paid directly into personal accounts, or accounts associated with businesses, they ran. However, the benefit of their crimes was found to be between £200,000 and £250,000.
Farrell was able, due to the high level of trust that was placed in him, to keep his offending hidden from colleagues at Your Health Limited. His knowledge as a trained accountant - and his seniority in the company - meant that the offending by the trio was able to go undetected.
The trio split the proceeds of their ill-gotten gains between them until the whistle was finally blown in 2012 when a member of Your Health Limited raised concerns about the fraudulent activity of the trio.
All three were charged with fraud by false representation - with Farrell also charged with fraud by abuse of position.
They denied the charges against them and a trial was held at Derby Crown Court in November last year.
However, on November 29, the day the jury were due to be sent out, Farrell was found dead at his home in Burton.
Following an inquest on February 15, 2019, a conclusion that Farrell took his own life was concluded.
The jury were instructed to not give a verdict on Farrell’s part in the crime due to his death and a guilty verdict was returned for Draycott.
A re-trial was ordered for Ward, which took place over three weeks at the end of April – after which he was also found guilty.
On Monday, Draycott, 52, was sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the con and Ward, 53, was jailed for 18 months.
Director of Your Health Limited, which was left on the brink of collapse following the scam, David Shaw, said: “The police investigation against Robert Farrell, David Draycott and David Ward has been ongoing since 2012, and we are pleased that it has finally been concluded.
“As a company, however, we are still outstanding all of the money that was taken and are awaiting confiscation orders to be produced to recover our losses wherever possible.
“The three individuals involved in this case all sought to extort money from my company at the highest possible level.
“Robert Farrell was the managing director of my company until the fraud was uncovered in 2012, he worked with Draycott and Ward in embezzling money from our company through a number of avenues, including producing and submitting dummy invoices for work they never carried out.
“The crimes of these individuals were based on pure greed and dishonesty and we welcome the sentences today, Farrell in particular was in a huge position of trust, which he just exploited at every opportunity.
“It has now been reported that the main defendant Robert Farrell took his own life before justice could be served. We are saddened that he took this way out but pleased that the remaining two, who couldn’t have done it without him, were found to be guilty of all charges.”