Man jailed for fraud totalling almost £6 million - Oxford

16/06/2015

A man appeared at Oxford Crown Court today, Tuesday, 16 June 2015, and was jailed for five years and four months for fraud totalling almost £6 million in Oxford.

Johannes Franken, aged 50, of Fockbury Road, Bromsgrove, was sentenced after pleading guilty at the same court on 12 May 2015, to five counts of fraud by false representation totaling more than £5.9 million and one count of possessing criminal property.

The offences were committed while Franken was working for BMW between September 2011 and December 2014. He made false representations, altering supplier invoices and payments so that monies were diverted to his account. He made 59 separate transactions; the largest was for over £278,000.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved Johannes Franken defrauding BMW UK Ltd during a three-year period (September 2011-December 2014) out of almost £6 million while he was employed as a General Ledger Accountant.

"Serial fraudster Franken abused his position of trust to create fictitious supplier invoices and payments and divert money to his own bank account. He effectively ran a business to defraud, exploit, and extract money from BMW. He was motivated purely by money and greed to fund his own lavish lifestyle including vehicles, properties abroad, jewellery and computer equipment. His appalling campaign of fraud was only stopped due to a routine audit.

"We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since the investigation was launched and built a strong case to present the court with the full extent of the offending. Franken recognised that justice had caught up with him and he had little option but to plead guilty to the offences, which he did at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday, 12 May 2015.

"To date, monies totalling £2.5 million have been located and restrained from Franken under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Further Proceeds of Crime hearings will take place after today in order to recover as much as possible and deprive Franken of his criminal assets.

"This case sends a clear message to those involved in this kind of criminality that we will robustly prosecute them to ensure that justice is done, and that they will pay not only financially, but with their liberty too."

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Duncan Wynn, from the Economic Crime Unit, said: "I hope this sentence will act as a deterrent and show that crime does not pay. Franken systematically abused his position of trust with his employer to steal large sums of money which he spent on a lavish lifestyle including over £200,000 on vehicles, the purchase of a dive school in Mauritius and other foreign based properties.

"So far assets and monies totaling £2.5 million have been located and restrained under the Proceeds of Crime Act. We are currently actively pursuing the outstanding amounts. Part of the role of the Economic Crime Unit is to deploy all available options to remove the assets gained through criminality."