Benjamin Cullen abused his position as the company’s IT director by authorising purchases with company funds to live a lavish lifestyle totaling more than £200,000.
Cullen raised suspicions in 2020 when he submitted an invoice to the accounts department for a 50-inch 4k smart television. When questioned, Cullen claimed it had been purchased for the boardroom, but the television was nowhere to be found on the business premises, and an old television remained in place.
An internal investigation was conducted, which resulted in the discovery of £202,000 in losses and the dismissal of Cullen.
Cullen’s fraud, which he committed between 2018 and 2020, was broken down into four parts, according to the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate: he submitted invoices totaling £117,234 to the company for payment to two businesses that the company had never used. Both of these businesses were discovered to be connected to Cullen.
Statements from the company’s credit card revealed 15 transactions totaling £291,54 paid to an unnamed mobile number later confirmed to belong to Cullen.
Finally, the investigation discovered that Cullen had made 527 transactions totaling £55,940 on an online shopping app. A swimming pool, jewellery, a gaming chair, computer games, a gazebo, and a pair of topiary trees were among his purchases.
Cullen, of Peartree Road, Herne Bay, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud by position abuse.
When the 43-year-old appeared in Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, he was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.
‘Benjamin Cullen carried out the fraud over a sustained period, and it was a gross abuse of trust against a company that had given him the opportunity to work,’ said investigating officer Detective Constable Mark Newman.
‘His greed and desire to live the high life eventually caught up with him, and he was forced to face the consequences of his actions.’