Accountant who defrauded UK insurance trade body is jailed for 18 months

Caitlin Morrison
Follow Caitlin
Tougher Sentencing Blamed For Crowded Prisons
The former financial controller has been sentenced to 18 months in jail (Source: Getty)

A financial controller who defrauded his employer to the tune of almost £25,000 has been jailed for 18 months.

Gurmukh Shehri, 33, from Woolwich, was sentenced at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud by abuse of position, which occurred between November 2013 and November 2015. He was given 18 months in custody on each of the six charges, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Shehri committed the frauds while working at the British Insurance Brokers' Association (Biba), the City-based trade body for general insurance brokers.

The fraudster paid himself £13,248 in three separate instalments using cheques made out to a fictional property management company he called URM - which made it easier for him to change the name on the cheques to his own before paying them into his personal account.

Shehri also inflated his salary with unauthorised bonus payments totalling £11,000.

The fraud was reported to police as soon as the payments were discovered by Biba. Shehri had already been dismissed from his position following an internal investigation into an unrelated matter, and he was arrested by the City of London police in January 2016.

“Shehri’s offending represents a significant abuse of the trust placed in him by his employers, as he exploited his position and their confidence in him to steal a considerable sum of money," said PC James Harvey from the City of London police.

“I hope this sentence serves as a severe deterrent to anyone who thinks this type of offence is a victimless crime, which is not the case. I’d also like to praise and thank the organisation’s management who have been very helpful in assisting our investigation and brought the matter to our attention swiftly.”