Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Accountant Stole [Pounds Sterling]9m to Fund Spread Betting Spree; BOSSES' NAMES USED TO AUTHORISE HUGE TRANSFERS FOR STOCK MARKET BETTING FOUR BIG SPENDERS WHO LOST MORE THAN THE PETTY CASH

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Accountant Stole [Pounds Sterling]9m to Fund Spread Betting Spree; BOSSES' NAMES USED TO AUTHORISE HUGE TRANSFERS FOR STOCK MARKET BETTING FOUR BIG SPENDERS WHO LOST MORE THAN THE PETTY CASH

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB SINGH

AN accountant stole [pounds sterling]9 million from his City employers to fund an out-of-control gambling habit.

Wing Kit Chu, 32, took the money from engineering firm Charter Plc over a five-year period. He used colleagues' passwords to log on to company computers and authorise massive payments to his spread-betting account.

The Hong Kong-born finance expert frittered away the fortune gambling on future FTSE and Nasdaq stock exchange performance, becoming so obsessed he once withdrew almost half a million pounds in three days.

The [pounds sterling]9 million he stole between February 1999 and June this year was more than twice that taken by City secretary Joyti De-Laurey, jailed for seven years in July for stealing from her bosses.

At Southwark Crown Court, Wing, known to colleagues as David, admitted theft and was told he faced jail.

The court heard he was able to wire the funds directly from Charter - based in Grosvenor Street, Victoria - into his gambling account with City Index. He authorised sums ranging from [pounds sterling]1,800 to [pounds sterling]250,000 in his bosses' names.

But a losing run left the account in credit by only [pounds sterling]800,000 when company investigators closed in. Described by colleagues as "quiet, unassuming and polite," he vanished for three weeks after auditors started asking questions about the missing cash.

He wrote an internal email saying: "I am sorry I have let you all down" before disappearing - eventually turning himself in at Belgravia police station early in September.

The finance expert and his wife moved into a [pounds sterling]600,000 five-bedroom home in Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire, a few months before his arrest.

Neighbours said the couple spent a fortune on renovation Home improvements: Wing Kit Chu spent a fortune on the [pounds sterling]600,000 Buckinghamshire home he and his wife moved into six weeks before his arrest and expensive cars. One added: "They were fairly new in the close, but very pleasant."

Wing appeared in court to admit 28 theft counts and asked for 74 other offences to be taken into consideration. …

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