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Ex KPMG exec jailed for fraud

A FORMER KPMG finance director who stole over &pound;500,000 to fund his wife&rsquo;s lavish lifestyle was yesterday sentenced to four years in jail.<br /><br />Andrew Wetherall, 49, started to abuse the global accountancy firm&rsquo;s expenses scheme in 2002 after his wife&rsquo;s previous partner reduced maintenance payments. <br /><br />Wetherall claims he was driven to crime by fears his wife&rsquo;s &pound;15,000-a-month shopping sprees would suffer, triggering another divorce.<br /><br />London&rsquo;s Southwark Court heard that Wetherall made expense claims for non-existent business trips &ndash; almost half of which were backed with false invoices &ndash; and instead used the funds to pay for cars, romantic holidays and expensive watches.<br /><br />Last year a colleague became suspicious of the amount of air travel Wetherall was claiming for and raised the alarm. <br /><br />By the time he was arrested, &pound;545,620 was missing. Wetherall, who pleaded guilty to fraud and false accounting, has since repaid around &pound;340,000. Frederick Ferguson, defending, told the court his client accepted what he had done was &ldquo;immature and inappropriate&rdquo;.<br /><br />Judge Gregory Stone said the guilty plea had counted in his favour. He added: &ldquo;The gravity of this case focuses on the breach of trust that was involved and the very large sums of money you defrauded.&rdquo;