Convicted fraudster jailed again for fraud - Chalfont St Peter

20/10/2017

A convicted fraudster lied about his past to obtain a new job and went on to steal £205,000 from his new employers.

Simon Brown, aged 44, from Cambridgeshire was jailed for 33 months today, Friday, 20 October 2017, after conning his way into the position of Head of Sales with the biscuit and pastry firm Bahlsen. He defrauded the company, which is based at Chalfont St Peter, Bucks, by claiming for work on a non-existent contract, fake invoices and stays at hotels.

St Albans Crown Court heard that in 2013, under his previous name of Simon Ball, he was jailed for defrauding his former employers World Flowers of £120,000. After that conviction he changed his name to Simon Brown to prevent new bosses discovering his past.

Prosecutor Martin Mulgrew, from Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), described a CV he placed with a recruitment agency as a "confection of lies." Brown said he had an unbroken track record of developing and winning business in the UK, Europe and in the Southern Hemisphere.

He claimed he was in Australia as Sales and Marketing Director for Foresight Solution between January 2010 and January 2011 and between 2012 and 2013. During those periods he was working for World Flowers and was then in prison.

In March 2015, he joined Bahlsen, after providing a false reference, on a salary of £75,000 a year. It rose to £77,500 after 6 months and bonuses.

Brown told the company he was in contact with a senior buyer at another company and was involved in a £3 million contract involving the large scale production of small snack pack biscuits. In reality, there was no £3m contract, but Bahlsen had spent over £100,000 in preparatory work that Brown had pocketed.

He also generated false invoices for £905 for a stay at the Hambleton Hotel, for £1051 at the Belton Wood Hotel and for £1,560 for car repairs at a garage called Sycamores. In addition, he generated a false invoice for work he said had been commissioned by a company called Category Specialists. To launder money from the false invoices he set up a fake bank account which in fact related to a credit union account he held with the Rainbow Saver Anglia Credit Union.

In Feburay last year, Bahlsen received an anonymous tip off that Brown was a fraudster. He was sacked and the police were called. In an attempt to throw officers off the scent he handed them fake documents he claimed were from a Bahlsen manager that had authorised the research.

Brown of The Rosary, Fen Drayton, Cambridge appeared for sentence via a video link from Bedford prison after admitting 7 charges of fraud, 1 of converting criminal property, and 1 of perverting the course of justice.

Defending, Mauro Maselli said Brown had pleaded guilty. He gave the Judge a letter from Brown in which he expressed remorse.

Recorder Robin Allen QC told him: "I have no doubt you are an accomplished liar and fraudster. You have caused considerable wreckage in your conduct. Your lying must stop."

A confiscation hearing will be heard at a later date.

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