Cocaine-fuelled city worker spared jail over £270k theft

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A City worker who swindled a multi-billion dollar company out of nearly £270,000 after he became hooked on cocaine partying with colleagues was spared jail today (FRI).

Dean Hunt, 31, brazenly transferred the cash into his own bank account while working as a purchase ledger assistant at top commercial property firm CBRE Ltd.

He then transferred £93,340 of the stolen money to family and friends including £33,000 for his boyfriend.

Hunt, who earned £25,000 a year, failed to disguise the money trail and was rumbled by a colleague who traced a missing payment on the company’s records to his bank account.

He claimed he needed the money to repay a drugs debt after becoming hooked on cocaine with colleagues at the firm.

But Judge Stephen Kramer QC decided not to send him to prison and handed him a suspended sentence at the Old Bailey.

Judge Kramer said: ‘Between January and October 2016 on 20 different occasions you stole money from your employer to the tune of £269,634.70.

‘That is a huge amount of money and would have required deliberate and conscious acts.

‘However, you are clearly a vulnerable person and I am sure that you will never do anything like this again.

‘There would be no useful purpose in sending you to prison today.

‘I hope you can put all this behind you and try to life a positive life.

‘This is a wholly exceptional case.’

CBRE Ltd, which advises on commercial property and real estate services, had a revenue of more than £10bn in 2016.

Tobias Long, prosecuting, said: ‘Mr Hunt was a purchase ledger assistant at a company called CBRE Ltd, where he worked since August 2015 on a salary of £25,000.

‘Part of the role he was given in that company was to manage refunds from and payments to sellers.

‘When a refund was to be processed, it was Mr Hunt’s job to give the details of the bank account for funds to be put into.

‘Hunt provided not the company’s bank details but his own bank account details, so the funds were diverted into his own account.;

Between January and October 2016 twenty different payments were made totalling £269,634.70.

Mr Long said: ‘On 10 October, Mr Hunt’s colleague Andy Hope became aware of a missing payment from a company called Secrutiny of £234,486.61.

‘He contacted Secrutiny and they confirmed the payment had been made and gave the details of the account the money had been paid into.

‘Mr Hope went through the company records and Mr Hunt’s bank account details came up.

‘He knew they were his details because the company puts his wages into that account.’

Hunt was arrested on 18 October 2016 and gave a no comment interview to police.

He was bailed and returned to the police station on 10 January 2016 where he admitted the offences.

Mr Long continued: ‘He said it had got out of control and he knew he would be caught.

‘He said he didn’t know what he wanted to do with the money.’

Gerwyn Wise, defending Hunt, said: ‘While it was an abuse of trust over a long period of time, this is clearly not a well thought out fraudulent enterprise.

‘It was inevitable that Mr Hunt was going to get caught because he was transferring the money into his own bank account.

‘Of the £93,340 he transferred, he gave £33,000 to his boyfriend – which has been frozen in a bank account and remains there.

‘He started to use cocaine with his colleagues at CBRE and worked up a drugs debt.

‘To say that Mr Hunt has been terrified in the hearings he has attended would be an understatement.’

Hunt, of Haslemere Road, Enfield, admitted one count of fraud by abuse of position and one count of transferring criminal property.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years on each offence, to run concurrently.

Hunt must also complete a 40-day rehabilitation activity programme and repay a remaining balance of £3,357.21.

To date he has repaid £106,969.65 and the rest has been ‘dissipated’, the court heard.

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