9/17/2008 11:15:00 AM
Carphone Warehouse fraudster gets four years
A Carphone Warehouse accountant has been jailed for four years after being caught exploiting a weakness in the retailer’s account systems to steal over £500,000.
Steven Luck, an accounts manager who worked in the Carphone HQ in Acton, west London, used the money to buy a Ferrari and two holiday homes in Turkey.
Luck was accused of filing false invoices on 16 occasions to cover his tracks, and tricking unknowing colleagues into authorising money transfers. He attempted to hide his actions by altering company account summaries.
Luck was caught in April this year and pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey last week to false accounting, amounting to £584,401.60 between 12 June 2003 and 12 April 2008.
The judge said: ‘You embarked on an extravagant lifestyle. It was sheer greed.’
Luck is reported to have paid back half the sum, and is selling his car and family home to pay back the rest.
A Carphone spokeswoman said: ‘We operate a zero-tolerance approach to any form of fraud. We have checks and processes in place to identify areas of concern and should such an issue arise, we take it very seriously, working closely with the police to deal with it appropriately. Investigations into individual employees are confidential.’
Carphone has previously faced retail fraud, and launched an investigation in April this year. Staff were suspended after being caught manipulating credit check systems, particularly in London. Carphone has recently invested heavily in systems to tackle fraud after insiders said that the retailer’s processes were not robust enough.