Director of 'London Fraud Prevention Club' convicted after telling employers he had cancer to gain £20,000 in sick pay

07/07/2017

A financial adviser who went on to set up his own London Fraud Prevention Club has been convicted of telling his former employers he had cancer to claim sick pay and then inventing a non-existent £1m business deal so he could receive commission.

Christopher Theile, 39, [15/07/1977] of Waltham Forest, was convicted today [7 July] at Snaresbrook Crown Court of two fraud offences relating to his former employers, and one of perverting the course of justice.

He also admitted another three separate fraud offences relating to persuading a church friend to invest in a non-existent property deal.

Over a period of two years Theile:

  • Pretended he had pancreatic cancer to claim £20,000 sick pay from his employers.
  • While on sick leave pretended to his employers he had brokered a deal worth £1m with another business to buy flash drives – netting £20,000 in commission on the non-existent deal. His employers had built the customised flash drives and could not sell them to anybody else – at a loss of £1.2m.
  • Wrote to the CPS lawyer in that case falsely claiming the investigating police officer was corrupt.
  • Separately, he persuaded a church friend to invest £46,460 in a property deal on property he did not actually own.
  • He also persuaded the friend to give Theile £20,000 to invest on the Stock Exchange, which he spent on gambling debts.
  • Theile claimed that the money had not been spent but was being held in virtual Bitcoin accounts as escrow. Police investigations showed they were empty.
  • He also filed false accounts to boost the value of his own new company - the London Fraud Prevention Club - to potential investors or clients.

CPS London reviewing lawyer Peter Nugent said: "Christopher Theile cynically told his company and colleagues he had pancreatic cancer to claim sick pay, then while on leave he carried out a deception which cost them £1.2m in business losses.

"Afterwards he set himself up as a financial adviser and, helped by the launching of a company named the London Fraud Prevention Club, he enticed another victim into handing over money originally saved to buy a home for his children. Theile spent the money covering his gambling debts.

"Fraud is never a victimless crime and whenever there is evidence of financial dishonesty the CPS will work with police to bring a strong prosecution case to court."

Theile is due to be sentenced on 28 July.

Charges:

Between 1 Jan 2013 and 1 June 2014 committed fraud by dishonestly claiming to his company that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that he required treatment in Switzerland.

Between 26 June 2013 and 18 September 2014 committed fraud by dishonestly making a false representation to his company which he knew was false or misleading that he had secured an order from a third party for a quantity of Flashdrive devices to be manufactured by his company and that he would be entitled to commission.

On or before 27 June 2016 with intent to pervert the course of justice represented that a Metropolitan Police constable tasked with investigating alleged fraud against Mr Thiele was corrupt and had perverted the course of justice.

Between 15 July 2015 and 30 June 2016 committed fraud by making false representations that he would invest cash in the sum of £20,000 in the London Stock Exchange but instead dissipated the cash in breach of section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Between 1 October 2015 and 1 March 2016 committed fraud by making false representations that as a developer for sale of a block of flats at Bush Hill, Enfield, he would sell four of the flats but required £46,460 to cover deposits and fees.

Between 13 January 2016 and 31 March 2016 dishonestly falsified company accounts.