Man jailed for stealing over £2 million from his employer - Hatfield

23/09/2016

A Director of finance, who stole £2.1 million over 15-years from his employer to fund a luxury lifestyle, was today, Friday, 23 September 2016, jailed for 4 years.

Michael Canning, aged 50, earning £65,000 a year, helped himself to the money from specialist coffee equipment supplier Mulmar Foodservice Solutions in Hatfield, Herts. A colleague spotted discrepancies with invoices earlier this year and took action.

Canning, a married father of two sons, spent the cash on holidays, clothes, gambling, meals out, school fees, family expenses and dating sites.

Now Canning, whose 24-year marriage has ended and is homeless, is beginning a four year jail sentence.

St Albans Crown Court heard he is so wracked with guilt he is severely depressed and has tried to commit suicide many times.

Canning, an in-patient at a psychiatric unit since soon after his arrest in February, who previously lived in Willow Road, Great Dunmow, Essex, pleaded guilty to three offences including false accounting between 2 July 2001 and 1 February 2016 by duplicating legitimate invoices raised to Trendaset Ltd plc, trading as Mulmar Foodservices; obtaining £697,173 in money transfers by deception between July 2001 and January 2007, and fraud between January 2007 and February 2016 by falsely representing he was entitled to £2,173,710 in settlement of invoices to be paid into his own bank accounts.

Judge John Plumstead told Canning: "You have brought ruin on yourself. You must have known over those 15 years that it would all catch up with you. You have lost your home and your family. It was all started by your dishonesty. You spent a good deal of the money on others, as a providing father, but that wasn't your money to spend."

But the Judge said he was reducing the sentence because of Canning's genuine remorse, shown by his continuing wish to end his own life.

Ann Evans, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), detailed how Canning spent the bulk of the money. She said £500,000 went on mortgage payments; £209,000 on family holidays; £338,000 on shopping; £248,000 on clothes; £65,000 in restaurants; £182,000 on cash withdrawals and cheques; £158,000 on overdraft and accountancy fees; £39,000 on schooling; £84,000 on dating sites such as Ashley Madison and 'camgirls,' and £11,000 on gambling.

Defending, Mike Warren said Canning was trying to maintain a lifestyle which his own salary couldn't meet. The situation got out of control.

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