- Andrew Saunders, 52, is accused of defrauding Bombardier Transportation UK
- He allegedly sent large sums of money to four fake business accounts
- Then accused of transferring the funds to his and his wife Diane’s accounts
Andrew Saunders, 52, is accused of defrauding Bombardier Transportation UK by sending large sums of money to four fake business accounts
A train company boss blew £690,000 on a lavish lifestyle of Harley-Davidsons and a hot tub after hiding fake payments in his wife’s bank account, a court heard.
Andrew Saunders, 52, is accused of defrauding Bombardier Transportation UK by sending large sums of money to four fake business accounts from his employer’s account and then transferring the funds to his and his wife Diane Saunders’ accounts.
Jurors were told he abused his role of acquiring materials and courier services for a project with railway operator Southern.
Saunders was working for Bombardier Transportation UK in its Brighton branch, while the company worked on a joint project with Southern at depots based in Brighton, Bedford and Selhurst.
Saunders spent the money gained between August 28, 2008 and April 30, 2013 on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a hot tub and other expensive items, Hove trial centre heard.
He created three business accounts in his and his wife’s name to receive money transferred from Bombardier’s accounts after signing off on ‘fraudulent purchase orders’, the court heard.
Prosecutor Hugh French said: ‘Banking evidence shows the enjoyment of the proceeds of criminality.
‘He is attempting to conceal the source of this money by circulating it around the business and personal accounts.
‘Large amounts of cash were withdrawn for him to spend money taken from his employer.
‘He was pretending these four businesses were providing a service for Bombardier and fake invoices were generated.’
The court heard Saunders was siphoning money from his employer into four business accounts, Precision Moulding, registered to his home address, N and T and Sidestand Limited, both registered to Ms Saunders’ home address, and Ras Limited, registered to Roy George.
Saunders denies committing fraud by intending to make a gain himself or by taking from others
Software known as React was used by Bombardier to add suppliers to its computer system, allowing them to be paid for goods and services.
The system required an approval by two separate employees for outgoing payments below 20,000 Euros and a third approval from a financial controller for a larger amount.
Mr French told jurors that Saunders took advantage of this system’s weaknesses to complete both stages of approval himself and create the purchase orders.
Ian Hutchenson, Bombardier’s head of non-product related procurement, told the court he rejected Saunders’ initial request to add N and T as a supplier in October 2010 due to inaccurate company details.
Mr Hutchenson said: ‘Mr Saunders would have had to set up the request.
‘He had missed out key elements, such as bank details. The purchase order is only made once the approval stage is complete.
‘He later sent back a request having filled out the template correctly.’
Saunders denies committing fraud by intending to make a gain himself or by taking from others.
The trial continues.
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