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May 29, 2022 View:

Veteran employee steals more than $7 million from a UK wine import company

A 12-year veteran employee stole millions from the company during his employment. This is the story of a wine importing company in the UK.

Photo courtesy of: Le Wine Guest

Patricia Mann, aged 73, is living on a pension. Previously an employee of Vintage Wines Ltd, a wine import and distribution company, she joined the company in 2004 and works as an accountant.

When she first came to the company, Patricia Mann did well, came highly recommended, fit in well, and did a great job with the books. During her first few years as an accountant, the business was good.

It wasn"t until 2016 that the company experienced a decline in cash flow, so Terry, the company's chairman general manager and owner, injected a large amount of personal capital. During this time, the company was forced to sell assets and lay off employees.

However, behind Terry Rockley's investment in saving the company's business, it was Patricia Mann who secretly began to use her position for profit, playing more than £800,000 (about RMB 7.08 million) into her personal bank account and a business she ran between 2004-2018. This was done for 12 years.

By 2018, things weren't looking up for the company. Concerned about the company's cash flow, the bank contacted Terry and asked his accountant to investigate, only to have this investigation reveal that Patricia Mann was transferring company cash to accounts under her control.

How did Patricia Mann manage to go undetected for 12 years? Mainly by falsifying invoices and manipulating inventory so that the accounts would not show deficits or large changes.

When Patricia Mann went to court, Terry, her former boss, was still in disbelief, saying that all employees of the company were shocked and betrayed.

Patricia Mann was hired because one of the company's previous accountants had also committed fraud, and Patricia Mann was hired to fill the accountant's position. Now, not only did she take over the accounting position, but she also took over the fraud.

What exactly was this large sum of stolen money used for? Many would have thought Patricia Mann would have used it to buy luxury goods, but the judge said that was not the case and that a large portion of the money she stole was used to support her business. As for what business it is, it has not been disclosed yet.

In court, Patricia Mann initially dragged her feet and refused to confess, then changed her story and said she had only stolen £50,000 over a two-year period. It was only when the judge said that this was simply not true, as the total scale of the fraud exceeded £800,000 over a 12-year period, that Patricia Mann admitted to abusing her authority to commit fraud.

In the end, Patricia Mann was sentenced to 45 months in prison. The judge said she will serve half of the sentence and the rest will be served on parole. Patricia Mann has now repaid £50,000.

The liquor store has had a bad life, and in addition to this stab in the back by the accountant, it was also visited by burglars last October who dug a tunnel in the basement and stole £250,000 worth of wine.