A LEIGH man has been sentenced to four years and six weeks for his role in producing “fake invoices” whose value amounted to more than £1 million”.
Toby Britton, 53, of Manchester Drive, Leigh, conspired with Paul Fitzsimmons, 49, of Leicester, submitting fake invoices.
Fitzsimmons, who has been jailed for six years held the role of facilities and services manager at US law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP since the late 1990s, and as part of his duties, managed relationships with vendors of office and facilities supplies and services.
Over a three-year period, it was estimated that Fitzsimmons duped fake invoices totalling more than £1 million, which were then sent to suppliers from his personal email and phone.
Toby Britton was a director of one of the companies Fitzsimmons liaised with, and was also sentenced to four years and six weeks imprisonment for his role in the scheme.
Both were sentenced on October 10, at the same court.
Britton proposed creating fake companies with various directors to obscure the trail and minimise their digital presence.
Both Fitzsimmons and Britton were initially arrested in 2019 due to suspicions raised by Cleary Gottlieb Stein and Hamilton LLP’s finance team.
A company was hired to audit and uncover transactional details between Fitzsimmons and Britton, prompting the transfer of the case to the City of London Police’s fraud operations team.
Det Chief Insp Lee Parish, from the fraud operations team at the City of London Police, said: “Despite working for nearly twenty years at a prestigious law firm, it would appear that in itself was not enough for Fitzsimmons and that ultimately it was his greed that was his downfall.
“Fitzsimmons abused his trusted position as facilities manager for his own personal gain to fuel an extravagant lavish lifestyle for him and his partner.
“His relationship with Britton, despite being professional on the surface, was one forged through criminality and the two embarked on a reckless journey, which has now resulted in time in prison for the pair of them.”
Picture: Toby Britton. Pic Essex Police.
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