A man who defrauded two companies to pay for a lifestyle he could not afford has been sent to prison.
Damian Storey, 36, of Trinity Avenue, Mildenhall, had tried to appear wealthier than he really was, Ipswich Crown Court heard today (Wednesday).
Sentencing him, Judge Peter Jacobs told Storey: “You gave been a bit of a Walter Mitty. You tried to big yourself up.”
The court heard that Storey showered thousands of pounds on a woman he met and used a company credit card to spend £159 on internet dating sites, £843 on flowers and £2,002 at a jewellers.
In total he managed to gain £32,095, some of it by pretending to be members of staff who had left and then rejoined his employers.
Storey pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud by false representation and was jailed for a total of 15 months. He is due face another hearing later this year in a bid to recoup as much as possible of what he gained from his crimes.
Prosecuting, Andrew Thompson told the court that between November 2012 and September 2013, Storey had been employed as financial manager by specialist IT company Retail Services Team in Newmarket where he was trusted to have control of a credit card belonging to the company.
Mr Thompson said Storey used the card without permission to withdraw £6,960 in cash, pay £3,425 for general purchases for himself as well as transferring £10,650 to a woman he had met and was trying to impress.
The fraud, totalling £24,356, had a ‘significant impact’ on the company and according to the managing director caused it to cease operating as it was then and had to start in another form, said Mr Thompson.
Just days after being dismissed from Retail Services Team, Storey gained a job with Circle Housing Group in Norwich and became payroll manager, the court heard.
During the four months he worked there, Storey used his position to falsely enter details on the payroll system stating three former employees had rejoined the organisation and arranged for their wages, amounting to £7,736, to be paid into a bank account under his control and then withdrew the money using a debit card, said Mr Thompson.
Defending, Alexandra Scott said Storey had been under pressure and regretted what he had done.
Miss Scott said Storey did not believe that a high degree of damage had been done by the first fraud. It was the first time he had been to prison and his wife had been understanding about what he had done.