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Indian-origin web expert jailed for 39 months for fraud in UK

An Indian-origin web manager charged with siphoning off over 100,000 pounds from his boss’ UK-based firm was jailed for 39 months by a court in London on Tuesday. Gaurav Sachan, who worked as digital head for home improvement firm Alison At Home, had pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London. “You have let down everyone around you. You committed that offence through the most flagrant abuse of your position,” the judge told Sachan.

The 31-year-old was accused of stealing 104,581 pounds from celebrity interior designer Alison Cork. According to ‘Evening Standard’, the fraud occurred between March and December 2014 by moving cash via PayPal accounts. Sachan helped divert the funds into someone else’s account by altering the account details held in the firm’s name. He allegedly bought Tommy Hilfiger clothes, a ring for his wife and stayed at luxury hotels with the funds.

“It was discovered that somebody had been using the administrator privileges for the company to change the recipient details for monies supposed to be received by Alison At Home,” prosecutor James Benson told the court. “The defendant used the monies to fund a lavish lifestyle his bank accounts show him shopping at expensive designer outlets such as Tommy Hilfiger and Russell and Bromley,” he added.

Sachan was caught only when he went on a long trip to India to visit his sick father and Cork was forced to appoint a new head of digital. Another accounts manager at the business was jailed in February last year for stealing 23,000 pounds from the company. Abeyomi Ogunagbadaro, 45, was given a 16-month sentence for embezzling the cash and then laundering it via two of his friends’ bank accounts.

Ogunagbadaro had been sacked after only two months back in 2014 for poor performance but his fraud only came to light once he had left the firm. Alison Cork, who launched the home improvement business in 2012, is a well-known interior designer and also appears on television makeover shows in the UK.

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