‘Almost family’: Trusted worker jailed for £57,000 Telford garage fraud
A man who defrauded the small Telford business he worked for of more than £57,000 has been jailed for 20 months.
Anthony Quinn, 37, admitted to diverting £57,157 from Faintree Garage, where he worked as a trusted sales manager and was considered by the owner to be ‘almost family’.
Quinn, from Wednesbury, appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court having pleaded guilty to fraud.
Prosecuting, Dean Easthope said Quinn would be there in the early in the morning and after work when nobody else was around. He transferred amounts of money, often £500 at a time, into one of several debit accounts he owned.
Mr Easthope said he would then falsify receipts and invoices so as to make it appear as though a customer had received a refund on part exchanges.
The court heard that Quinn worked at the garage between September 2014 and September 2017, with the fraudulent transactions taking place from June 2015 and the last occurring the day after his last day on the job.
He said: “These transactions to a number of debit cards happened 108 times while this defendant was employed at the garage, and a further one on Saturday, September 9, the day after he had left employment there.
“He still had a key and he went to the garage on the Saturday to make one more transaction of £1,000.
"The garage’s owner Mr Wedgby considered this man a trusted colleague and to be ‘almost family’.”
“This ordeal has caused him some considerable stress. This is a small family-run business that started off with just 12 people and now employs 26.
“The effect on the business and the morale of the people there has been very significant.”
Mr Easthope told the court that Quinn’s dealings were investigated by the company after discrepancies were noticed on invoices.
When arrested by police, he admitted to the fraudulent transactions. Faintree has since been able to recover most of the money through insurance, but is still about £9,500 out of pocket.
Appearing for Quinn, Lisa Hancox said that a family breakdown had put him in a perilous financial situation and he had committed the offences to support his lifestyle.
Ms Hancox said: “This is a man who has fully accepted responsibility for what he did.
In handing down a 20-month sentence, Judge Peter Barrie said: “You were in a respected and trusted managerial position, and you began systematically defrauding your employer over a long period.”
“Offences against a small family company like this have real victims, and the garage might have had to fold if they had not been able to recoup some of the money on insurance.
“I am sympathetic that you had financial difficulties, and family breakdowns can make those difficulties very great indeed.
“But lots of people have financial problems and don’t commit crimes like this.”
Quinn will spend 10 months behind bars and 10 on licence.
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