Businessman jailed for £40k theft

A SUFFOLK based managing director has been sentenced to more than two and a half years in prison after he admitted stealing more than £40,000 from his employers and misleading investors.

A SUFFOLK based managing director has been sentenced to more than two and a half years in prison after he admitted stealing more than £40,000 from his employers and misleading investors.

Richard Ollis, 48, of Polstead Street, Stoke by Nayland, stole £41,190 from First Capital Management Limited by drawing out money for personal use and passing it off as business expenses.

He was at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced for five counts of theft between February and May 2003 as well as one charge of misleading investors of First Capital Management's Global Opportunities Fund, which he set up in the British Virgin Islands.

Married father of two Ollis exaggerated net asset values and by doing so ensured investors hung on to their shares and did not try to sell them off, prosecuting counsel Anthony Bate said.


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Sentencing Ollis to two years and six months in prison Judge Neil McKittrick said the defendant was of previous good character and had been well thought of in the world of investment banking, since qualifying in 1991.

“I'm afraid to say your fall from grace was spectacular,” he said. “You were a person in a clear position of trust as an investment manager to potential investors and they were entitled to balanced financial information to enable them to make appropriate judgements.

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“By giving false net asset valuations people were tempted to invest sums of money that otherwise they may well not have done.

“You were a director of the company and it was an abuse of trust - not only of the company but also to the actual and potential investors.”

Judge McKittrick said this fraud was carried out over a substantial period of time and that Ollis mainly targeted those of “mature years” who were looking to invest for a more secure future.

“You knew the exaggerated assets to be false, misleading and deceptive,” he said. “It is clear to me that only custody can be justified.”

Referring to the thefts, which the defendant used to pay for improvements to his home, to buy a Land Rover and to pay maintenance to his ex-wife, Judge McKittrick said: “For that part you were stealing from your employer to feather your own nest.

“To steal money in the way you did requires dishonesty and I'm afraid you have very little excuse.”

Ollis was also disqualified from acting as a director of any company in the UK for a period of 10 years.

The court was told that Ollis had been depressed at the time that he committed the offences, but had since paid all the money back.

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