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City Firm's Facilities Manager Jailed for £1m Invoice Fraud

Friday 23rd February, 2024

A manager who submitted fake invoices to suppliers has been jailed for six years along with a company director of a vendor he conspired with.

As a long standing employee, he had held the role of Facilities and Services Manager at US law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP since the late 1990s, and part of his duties included, managing relationships with vendors of office and facilities supplies and services.

Over a three year period, it was estimated that he duped fake invoices totalling over £1 million which were then sent to suppliers from his personal email and phone.

A director of one of the companies he liaised with as part of his role, was also sentenced for four years and six weeks imprisonment at the same court.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Parish, from the fraud operations team at the City of London Police, said: “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.”

Invoices were then paid for work that had not been carried out with both working together to dupe the law firm to over £1 million. The money was used to fund a lavish lifestyle of high-end performance cars, luxury furniture and designer clothes.

Suspicions were raised by the finance team at Cleary Gottlieb Stein and Hamilton LLP. A company were then hired to conduct an audit and investigate the losses which uncovered a wealth of transactional information between the two.

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Avalara

Avalara helps businesses of all sizes get tax compliance right. In partnership with leading ERP, accounting, eCommerce and other financial management system providers, Avalara delivers cloudbased compliance solutions for various transactional taxes, including sales and use, VAT, GST, excise, communications, lodging, and other indirect tax types. Headquartered in Seattle, Avalara has offices across the U.S. and around the world in Canada, the U.K., Belgium, Brazil, and India.