Former Chelmsford City Council employee is jailed after admitting fraud and theft totalling more than £200,000

David Archer

David Archer - Credit: Archant

A former employee of Chelmsford City Council has been jailed for three years having admitted fraud and theft totalling more than £200,000.

David Archer, 56, of Cheviot Drive, Chelmsford, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on today, having admitted one count of theft and another of fraud during his trial at the same court the previous week. A further charge of failing to disclose information was ordered to lie on file.

The former play services manager was employed by the council from 1989 and resigned in 2010 after being suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

He was arrested by police in April 2011 and charged in October 2012 following a lengthy and complex investigation by detectives from the serious crime team in Chelmsford.

The offences dated between 2004 and 2010 and related to sums totalling £232,000. While in his position at the council he stole money and also dishonestly claimed that work had been carried out on behalf of the council by an external organisation, personally benefitting for that work being paid for when in truth no such work had been carried out.

Senior investigating officer DCI Paul Maleary said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and subsequent sentencing.

“It is quite right that the term of imprisonment reflects the crime. Stealing monies from the public purse is extremely serious and is compounded by austerity measures affecting the all public sector departments this case is an extreme breach of trust that cannot be tolerated.

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“A combined investigation between Essex Police and Chelmsford City Council has been taking place since 2011. Mr Archer has waited until the third opportunity to plead guilty. The council will now seek to recover the stolen funds from Mr Archer in order to minimise the loss to the public.”