CASE STUDY

Prosecution of an employee for theft of cash and false accounting - Theft Act 1968
Criminal

In April 2004 Brian was offered a job as manager of a public house in Solihull. He had many years experience in the pub trade but had never managed a pub before. He explained to the pub owner that he would need some help with book-keeping. The owner explained a system of record keeping and banking which he had himself devised. When the quarterly VAT return was due in July the owner checked the records and found the there appeared to be a substantial shortfall in the bankings. He complained to the police and Brian was charged with theft of the shortfall and false accounting. We were instructed to review the accounting records and bankings on behalf of the defence.

We gave our opinion of the elements required in a properly designed accounting system for a pub and highlighted the many serious deficiencies in the system devised by the pub owner and the difficulties that Brian would have experienced in attempting to operate it.

We also pointed to a number of possible causes of the cash shortfall, other than theft by Brian.

When the case came to court many of the points in our report were put to the prosecution witnesses in cross-examination.

At the close of the prosecution evidence the judge agreed that Brian had no case to answer and he was acquitted.

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