A man who defrauded his best friend’s business out of almost £187,000 has been jailed. 38-year-old David Mills of Blackpool was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months of imprisonment after pleading guilty to theft by employee, at Liverpool Crown Court.
In 2010 Mills began working part time at a contractor’s firm in Wigan, which was part owned by his best friend. In April of 2011 he began working at the company on a full time basis and received a promotion to Office and Finance manager. In this role he was responsible for processing invoices and making payments to suppliers.
In the summer of 2015 Mills started to regularly turn up late for work while occasionally staying in the office overnight and drinking excessively, which raised concerns amongst the owners.
In September of last year he went to a concert with one of the company’s owners and after a few drinks began to describe the difficulty of hiding things on mobile phones as opposed to computers, which he knew how to hide and ‘mask files’ on easily.
He then went on to say that he had a large amount of money in his bank account, raising further concerns among his companion.
The partners at the company then launched their own internal investigation and found a number of payments made to different companies seemingly with the same bank account details. The details were found to be for an account belonging to David Mills.
The total stolen by Mills amounted to £186,315.20.
Detective Constable Sarah Langley of GMP’s Fraud Investigation Team has stated “This theft was a huge betrayal not only by an employee against his bosses but by a man against his best friend. David Mills had a very close relationship with one of his bosses who was also the best man at his wedding and is the god father to his daughter”.
She continued “The company directors obviously thought very highly of him and trusted him enough to give him access to their bank accounts but he destroyed that trust as it meant nothing to him. I hope the sentence passed here today will bring them some comfort and help them move on from this terrible saga”.