Friday, July 4, 2014
7:00 AM

A partner at an accountancy firm with branches in Suffolk and Norfolk who admitted fraud involving £24,000 has repaid the outstanding balance from his offending, a court has heard.

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Adam Clarke, who worked in the business recovery department of Larking Gowen, had debts of £30,000 and blamed financial pressures for his fall from grace, when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentence earlier this year.

Clarke had altered details on a cheque that should have been paid to the Insolvency Service and paid it into his own bank account and also dishonestly paid VAT refunds from the Inland Revenue in relation to company liguidations into his account, the court was told.

Clarke, 31, of Masterson Grove, Kesgrave, near Ipswich, had pleaded guilty to seven offences of fraud between November 2010 and May 2013 .

He was sentenced to a 12-month prison term suspended for two years and ordered to do 240 hours’ unpaid work in the community.

At his sentencing hearing Craig Marchant, for Clarke, said financial difficulties had led to him making some “horrendous decisions” and throwing his hard work and career away. “His reputation is in tatters,” he added.

He said Clarke, who had earned up to £60,000 pa before his dismissal, was now working for a lettings agency and was earning £20,000 pa.

He said Clarke intended to make good the loss caused by his offending and had been in contact with Larking Gowen to make arrangements for that to happen.

Yesterday (Thurs) Clarke returned to court for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Prosecuting counsel Matthew Gowen said Clarke had repaid the outstanding balance of £4,641 compensation and he formally asked for the POCA proceedings to be withdrawn.

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