A bank boss has been jailed after stealing nearly £3million from his employers and using it to splash out on sports cars, holidays and designer jewellery.
Simon Olver had been head of finance, accounting, reporting and tax at Credit Industriel ET Commercial Bank for less than a year when he defrauded the organisation by £2.9m.
The 42-year-old, from Surrey, set up two fake payments to himself, substituting his own bank details in place of those for HMRC, even naming his account ‘HMRC Cumbernauld’ to make the transactions appear more genuine.
He used the diverted funds to buy designer watches, jewellery, upgrade airline flights and put deposits on McLaren and Aston Martin sports cars, as well as making a offer on a £2.6m house.
Olver was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position and one of creating articles for use in fraud.
Police began investigating Olver last year after the bank where he worked tipped them off that two fraudulent payment requests had been made.
The first was supposedly a payment of £479,044 to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill for 2017.
Once the payment had been authorised, Olver then sent the payment request to the settlements team to process it and release the funds.
Two weeks later, he submitted another request worth £2,477,122, again supposedly to HMRC to settle an outstanding corporation tax bill.
City of London Police said Olver’s bank informed his employer of two very large and suspicious payments into his account and the Fraud Squad was notified, arresting Olver the same day.
Investigators found that the 42-year-old was planning to submit a third payment request worth £1,550,000 but was arrested before he could do so.
Olver admitted what he had done to detectives, but claimed he was struggling with debts.
However, before his fraud was uncovered, he had already spent roughly £238,000 of the stolen funds - mostly on high value luxury goods including watches, jewellery, flights and sports cars.
Detective Constable Richard Cole, who led the investigation for the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad, said: “Olver betrayed the trust of his employer and used his position to steal nearly £3 million pounds.
"Despite claiming in his interview that he needed the money for debt payments, it’s evident that he also used it to enjoy a luxury lifestyle, purchasing expensive items such as watches and jewellery.
“He must now pay the price for his actions, both with the sentence handed down by the court, but also with the loss of his job and reputation.”
The CPS said it will now take steps to recover the money Olver had taken.