Rita Ora’s former accountant jailed for five years over £3m fraud | UK News
An accountant with high-profile clients such as singer Rita Ora and World Cup-winning rugby player Matt Dawson has been jailed for more than five years, after he committed a £3.35m fraud.
Andrew Munday, 38, caused a loss of nearly £2.4m to Rita Ora’s company, during a fraud campaign lasting seven years.
Dawson’s company suffered losses of around £1.08m after Munday took money from their accounts and placed it in his own.
The married father-of-two from Moulton in Northamptonshire has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison, after he admitted six counts of fraud by false representation and three counts of money laundering.
Judge Rupert Mayo told Northampton Crown Court: “The individuals who trusted you with their bank sign-in details and therefore trusted you with their hard-earned wealth have been emotionally harmed by the abuse of trust which you perpetrated.”
The court heard how Munday used his profit to finance a gambling addiction and live a “lavish lifestyle”, with exclusive membership at Tottenham, as well as buying football memorabilia – including signed Paul Gascoigne shirts.
Munday siphoned £1.6m from Ora’s company into his own bank account, and caused a total loss to the firm of £2,390,747 whilst he was an accountant at Blue Cube Business Ltd, which no longer exists.
His other victims included Dawson’s England teammate Martin Bayfield and songwriter V V Brown – who were targeted between March 2009 and April 2016.
In a victim impact statement, Brown said she felt “numb” after hearing about the fraud by Munday, who she called seemingly “charming and loyal” and believes he “ruined a lot of people’s lives”.
Bayfield said the fraud left him with “mental stress” and that Munday “stole any degree of spontaneity our hard-earned money might have provided”.
Munday, who was declared bankrupt in 2006, also used the profits to buy three properties as well as expensive watches and jewellery.
The former accountant has made efforts to repay his clients but they are currently out of pocket by £710,000.
According to prosecutor Simon Davis, the first fraud spotted by Munday’s employers was on Ora’s business, Ora Multi Services (OMS), but this was revealed to be the “tip of the iceberg”.
Munday told OMS that tax payments were due to HMRC, but provided the destination for that money as V V Brown’s bank account.
He then used Brown’s bank account to transfer money to his own, and used it to pay other people’s tax bills and for passing money to Tottenham.
He used the same method against Dawson’s company, Decidedly Dawson Ltd, and Bayfield’s firm, Six Ten Media.
The prosecution added that Bayfield suffered “embarrassment” after he told HMRC he paid his tax bill when questioned about it, but it later came to light that the account number was not the one for the department.
Mr Davis said: “He was considered a hard-working and trustable employee. However, he was living a lie.
“The defendant spent the money on a lavish lifestyle, real estate and also gambling significant amounts.”
Northampton Crown Court was shown evidence of Munday’s fluctuating gambling wins and losses, and a photo of the perpetrator showing off a bundle of cash whilst just in his underpants.
In mitigation, Nigel Edwards QC said that his client suffered with addiction, and it was a “principal driver” in his life.
He added: “He offers sincere apologies to all those who he defrauded”.
Welcoming the sentence, the Detective Chief Inspector of Northamptonshire Police Lee McBride said: “Andrew Munday was a professional and entrusted with finances which he misused to lead a lavish and extravagant lifestyle well beyond his means”.