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Home Maidstone News Article
James Bradney, of Kings Road in Headcorn, removed funds from five struggling companies and covered his tracks with false accounting documents.
The companies collapsed in June 2011, resulting in the loss of 40 jobs.
Bradney, 48, has also been banned from being a company director for seven years and was one of two men involved in the fraud.
Michael Worrall, a 46-year-old chartered accountant from Horsham will serve 32 months behind bars and has been banned from being a company director for five years.
The pair carried out the fraud whilst working at insolvency specialists Bridge Business Recovery LLP, based in Hanover Road, Tunbridge Wells.
The offending began in January 2009 when £200,000 was dishonestly removed from the accounts of a company in liquidation.
Funds were removed from struggling companies to cover Bridge Business Recovery’s overheads without the knowledge of other partners.
The offending continued into 2011 with £915,000 removed from a number of insolvent companies entrusted to James Bradney to wind up.
Only £90,000 was returned.
As a result of the funds going their clients collapsed after they failed to correctly register and pay their VAT and PAYE obligations.
Bradney gained financially from the fraud and was the firm’s managing partner.
Worrall was employed as a business accountant and carried out Bradney’s instructions on the appropriation of funds and the preparation of the false accounts.
Worral is not believed to have gained financially from these acts.
Both men appeared before a sentencing hearing on Friday, February 28 after they pleaded guilty of conspiring to commit fraud by abuse of position of trust at a hearing on Monday, February 24.
Investigating Officer Detective Sergeant Alec Wood commented “This was not a simple case of putting your hand in the till and being caught with the cash in your pocket.
“Substantial police time was spent in the analysis of the bank accounts and tracing the flow of the money concerned.
“Furthermore false management accounts were produced and passed to the other partners in Bridge to cover up the true position of the company.
“I would like to thank all the other witnesses both in the accounting profession and those former employees of Bridge who assisted in the investigation.
“I hope that this guilty plea and sentence finally clears the reputation of Bradney and Worrall’s former colleagues whose professional lives have been tainted by this gross abuse of trust.”
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