Finance Officer Jailed After Stealing £200,000 from Charity

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A London man has been jailed for fraud after stealing £200,000 from the charity he worked for to fuel his gambling habit, according to police.

Manjinder Virdi, 37, of Rathmore Road in Charlton, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court to three years behind bars after pleading guilty to “fraud by abuse of position,” according to the Metropolitan Police.

Virdi worked as a financial administrator and then finance officer for a charity based in Poplar, where his role allowed him to access the organization’s bank and PayPal accounts.

Over a period of 20 months, he’s said to have siphoned £200,000 out of these and into his own bank accounts, where thousands of pounds were subsequently used at online gambling sites.

In May 2019, a colleague at the charity received an email from its bank alerting them to potential fraud. However, when the message was forwarded to Virdi, he claimed he had spoken to the bank and that it was simply a phishing email, the Met explained.

When the colleague checked again a day later, Virdi purportedly admitted there had been some fraudulent activity but that the bank would contact him directly with the details.

At the same time as his attempted cover-up, the charity’s vice president contacted the bank directly, after harboring suspicions of their own, and subsequently the police were finally called to investigate.

Detective constable Gavin Markey of the Central East Command Unit CID said Virdi abused his position and the confidence placed in him by others.

“In one series of transactions from October to November 2018, he took just over £85,000. From February to May 2019, he stole just over £53,000. These staggering sums of money were then frittered away via online gambling websites,” he added.

“Virdi tried to play his colleagues for fools when they were initially contacted by the bank, but they knew something was not adding up and their suspicions were confirmed. Their efforts and support during our investigation has been invaluable in ensuring Virdi’s conviction and sentencing.”

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