Woodbridge: Worker fraudulently billed his employers for new electric garage door installed at his home

A FORMER meat and poultry company employee has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting arranging for a false invoice for nearly �3,000 to be paid by his employer.

Simon Wraight had a new electric garage door fitted at his home but had the invoice made out for maintenance work and sent to Gressingham Foods, based at Debach, near Woodbridge, where he earned �50,000 a year as an engineer manager.

Wraight went into a “blind panic” when his employers became suspicious about the �2,997 invoice and then tried to cover his tracks when questions were asked, Ipswich Crown Court herd.

Wraight contacted Ronald Everitt, a director of Guardian Doors, and asked him to provide false invoices to show he had paid for the garage door. Everitt agreed and Wraight produced the false invoices at an internal disciplinary hearing, said Joanne Eley, prosecuting.

Everitt later admitted that Wraight had not paid for the door and that no maintenance work had been carried out at Gressingham Foods.

Wraight, 44, of Needham Road, Harleston, and Everitt, 62, of Holly Brook, Braintree, both admitted conspiring to defraud Gressingham Foods in 2009 by producing false documents. Wraight also admitted fraud by abuse of position and theft of a water treatment system belonging to Panks Pumps Ltd.

Wraight was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 140 hours unpaid work in the community. Everitt was fined �3,000 and ordered to pay �1,250 prosecution costs.

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Miss Eley told the court the theft related to a water treatment system ordered by Wraight and invoiced to Gressingham Foods in 2008. She said that at a disciplinary hearing Wraight was asked about the water pump and he claimed it had been used on a borehole at Gressingham Foods and had been dumped when it failed to work.

An unsuccessful search was made for it and it was discovered Wraight had been e-mailing someone in America about a water pump that would solve a problem with a log cabin. Miss Eley said Gressingham Foods was invoiced �964 for the water pump but had not paid it.

Andrew Thompson, for Wraight, said he had no previous convictions and had lost his job as a result. He said Wraight had a good relationship with Mr Panks and had not been asked to pay for the water pump which had been for a relative’s log cabin in America.

He said in 2008 Wraight had fallen through a roof at work and had been short of money. He had arranged for the bill for the door to be sent to his employer and had gone into a “blind panic”, asking Everitt to provide the false invoices.

Charles Judge, for Everitt, said his client had made no personal financial gain from the offence and his company had only made a �200 profit from it.

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