R (Provident Personal Credit Ltd) v Les Jackson (2013)

Following an internal investigation by Provident, Edmonds Marshall McMahon brought a successful private prosecution against an employee for three counts of fraud by false representation contrary to section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and one count of theft, contrary to section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968.

Mr Jackson, the Defendant, had been an agent with Provident since 2005. These offences came to light when Provident investigated a complaint made by one of their customers. Further investigations into Mr Jackson’s clients made it clear that the Defendant was using loans from Provident for his own benefit and personal use, thereby committing theft and fraud offences against the company.  The offences fell into the following broad categories:

a)      Retaining repayments made by customers which should have been reported to, and passed on to Provident.

b)      Getting customers to take out loans on Mr Jackson’s behalf.

c)      Keeping money from Provident’s “handyfloat”.  Mr Jackson appeared to suggest in his interview that this money had been “lost”; however, the clear inference was that this money was in fact stolen by Mr Jackson from Provident.

At the sentencing hearing at Hull Crown Court, the Judge commented that such a serious offence, involving a loss of nearly £30k, would normally warrant an immediate custodial sentence, with a starting point of 2 years imprisonment.

The Judge took into consideration the defendant’s cooperation and his mitigating circumstance, his guilty plea and personal circumstances, and sentenced the defendant to a 16 month custodial sentence to be served concurrently, suspended for two years, along with 200hrs unpaid work.