The wrong friends + open access to employer’s account = prison
Little by little Paul Goring became a criminal. It took him almost four years to embezzle more than £800,000 from his employer. Through the dedicated efforts of its directors and staff, Coastal Amusements Ltd. is recovering from the loss.
The Crime Particulars
The lone bookkeeper at Coastal Amusements Ltd. began siphoning off money from his employer in November 2007. He was fired in August 2011. No one at the company realized that a problem existed until August 2010, when late payment and penalty notices came to the attention of company personnel. Not one person at Coastal recognized the nature of the problem. However, when the situation continued unchecked for a full year, Goring was asked to resign. Paul Goring is a friendly guy. He enjoyed the complete trust of his co-workers. Not only did he have access to the company accounting system, his job also entailed payments to staff and suppliers. It was easy for him to pour company money into various accounts using fraudulent names and invoices.
At the end of the day, Goring, 47, a resident of St. Leonards, had embezzled £801,617.57. Of that sum, he took a paltry £17,000 for himself, giving away the entire remainder to four of his friends. The accountant who replaced the defendant in September 2011 noticed discrepancies in the company account. A full investigation was performed by police, and Goring was arrested on January 12, 2012. He pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by abuse of position. Judge Tain handed him a prison sentence of three years, with the possibility of release after half of his sentence has been served.
The Defendant in the Bingo Club Scandal
Naïve is one of the adjectives that can be used for Paul Goring. He chose the worst possible friends. He also appears to be filled with empathy for others. Too good is no good. The court acknowledged that many people had come forward on Goring’s behalf. The judge clearly concluded that Goring merited the good opinions of all of those individuals. There are no prior convictions on the defendant’s record. Goring had previously volunteered his time and talents for the Hastings Old Town Ghost Walk tours, and had acted in various plays at the Stables Theatre. He was a positive element in his community.
Four of the defendant’s friends: Simon and Dawn Winchester, Mark Checksfield and Lee Barlow, received huge sums of money from Goring. On one occasion, Mark Checksfield, attempted to blackmail the defendant with the threat of “grassing everyone up” if Goring did not give him £6,000 for a vacation immediately. The judge noted that the blackmail would undoubtedly have led to continued theft had the defendant not been stopped. The massive amount of the embezzlement created a financial hazard for Coastal Amusements Ltd. Had the directors and staff not dedicated all of their time and efforts to keeping the company afloat, the staff would have all lost their jobs.
The Bingo Club
Coastal is a local company, which owns The Deluxe leisure centre and the bingo club. Both of those entities are situated in the town of St. Leonards. Goring has repaid £9,000 of the £17,000 that he had transferred to himself. The remaining £792,000 is the subject of on-going civil proceedings. Unfortunately for Paul Goring, regardless of the reasoning behind the theft, he has become a crook.