Jailed: The Accountant Who Stole [Pounds Sterling]9m without His City Bosses Noticing; FIVE YEARS FOR 'UNASSUMING' EMPLOYEE WHOSE GAMBLING WAS OUT OF CONTROL

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 26, 2005 | Go to article overview

Jailed: The Accountant Who Stole [Pounds Sterling]9m without His City Bosses Noticing; FIVE YEARS FOR 'UNASSUMING' EMPLOYEE WHOSE GAMBLING WAS OUT OF CONTROL


Byline: OLIVER FINEGOLD

THIS is the crooked accountant who stole more than [pounds sterling]9 million from his City employers.

Wing Kit Chu, 32, took the money from the international engineering giant Charter Plc, to fund an "out-of-control" gambling habit.

In a "sophisticated" series of thefts, he spent more than four years slipping out the money from under the noses of his bosses. Today Chu, known to colleagues as David, was starting a five-year prison sentence after he admitted 102 offences at Southwark Crown Court.

He pulled off the deception by using colleagues' passwords to log on to company computers and authorise massive payments to his spread-betting account.

The court heard that, against the background of an [pounds sterling]800million-a-year turnover, he "simply slipped by unnoticed" as he pocketed up to [pounds sterling]150,000 at a time.

Hong Kong-born Chu used some of the money to buy a [pounds sterling]600,000 four-bedroom home in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire. Described by workmates as "quiet, unassuming and polite", he became so obsessed by gambling on future FTSE and Nasdaq performance he withdrew almost [pounds sterling]500,000 in the space of three days.

His obsession became so bad he would even bet on who would score the first goal in a football match.

The theft only came to light after he handed in his notice and was asked to help a replacement reconcile some figures. After repeatedly failing to explain the inconsistencies, he sent an email to one of his superiors confessing his guilt. It said: "I don't expect anybody to understand what I have done because I am not sure myself. I am very, very sorry. I doubt if it will be the end of the story so I guess I will hear from you soon." The court heard that Chu laid low for three weeks before handing himself in at Belgravia police station last September. …

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