Bulwell business brought to brink of collapse by employee's £27,000 fake invoices scam

Nottingham Crown Court
-Credit: (Image: Nottinghamshire Live)

A Nottingham firm nearly went bust after a deceitful staff member used fake invoices to steal thousands of pounds from her employer. Accounts manager Louise Pitt stole nearly £27,000 from her Bulwell-based employer by creating a series of duplicate invoices for legitimate payments to local companies, before changing their payment details to hers.

The 36-year-old's deception was discovered by her boss on May 31 last year - when she was away on her honeymoon. Pitt submitted a total of 13 invoices totalling £26,979, but initially answered ‘no comment’ to all questions put to her when voluntarily questioned at Bulwell Police Station on June 15, 2023.

She returned to the police station several days later and admitted to what she had done, Nottinghamshire Police said. Pitt, of Brisbane Drive, Stapleford, later pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.

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She was given a two-year jail sentence suspended for 12 months at Nottingham Crown Court on Thursday, June 27. She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and instructed to pay back all the money she stole – starting with a lump sum of £16,000 within 28 days.

She will then have to pay back a minimum of £250 a month until the debt is cleared. The court heard from Pitt’s former employer that the illegal scheme had brought the company to the brink of collapse.

In mitigation, Pitt’s counsel explained how her client was previously of good character and had used much of the money to buy painkillers to treat an ongoing medical condition. Her client was, she said, “remorseful and thoroughly ashamed of her actions”, and was committed to paying back every penny she had stolen.

Police Investigator Oliver Wells, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This brazen deception had a significant impact on a local employer that was left struggling to fill a hole in its finances. I also hope this case acts as a warning to others about the almost inevitable consequences of this kind of workplace fraud.”