There is a bus company in Harrogate where nothing special ever happens. Every day the buses come and go. Again and again.
Then one day something did happen. It was a tale of revenge, filled with high drama which could be made into a movie.
It starts with a “trustworthy” accountant, who was hired by the bus company 9 years ago to do the books and keep everything above board.
The 44 year old accountant was liked by all at the company. He was held in high regard and considered one of the family.
For the first 4 years of his job the accountant felt the same way. But then something happened. His feelings towards his employers changed.
But nobody suspected a thing. He was the all around nice guy and trustworthy accountant you could put your trust in.
Nobody suspected this was a guy who was committing tax fraud on the sly.
From July 2012 until March 2017 the accountant stole approximately £88,000 of money from the bus company. And no-one ever suspected a thing.
Month after month he took bits of cash from the bank account. A Rolex watch here, some Argos gift vouchers there, an Apple iPad there…the scam kept going on everywhere.
Why was he doing this? One word…REVENGE!
Eventually the 44 year old accountant was found out after his manager became suspicious. And they called the Police, and he was arrested and taken to the local police station.
In the Police interview room they pressed the record button, and as the tape started to roll he unravelled a story about his desire to gain revenge over the bus company.
According to the accountant, he felt under appreciated and under paid, and had become resentful of everybody in the company.
He felt sure his fellow employees were given perks and benefits, while he got nothing.
After that, REVENGE was the only thing on his mind. So, over the next 5 years he devised a plan to quietly steal £90,000 pounds.
This was money he believed was owed to him. So he had no qualms about taking it.
Bizarrely, after being sacked from the bus company, the accountant found new work with another company. He was doing the books for a few months before he was found out, and then he was was sacked.
Which brings us to the moral of this story: If you are a contractor, freelancer, small business owners, or just generally self employed…then its important you check references when hiring an accountant
Don’t get us wrong. The vast majority of accountants out there are 100% trustworthy, it is just a few that spoil it for everyone else.
So be careful out there. Make sure you keep a watch on your books even if you have a trustworthy and expert accountant.
You might be wondering what happened to the 42 year old accountant who committed tax fraud? He got a 2 year prison sentence, although it was suspended for 24 months.