Senior civil servant embezzled £1.7m out of MoJ

A senior civil servant has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail after he stole more than £1.7m from the Ministry of Justice

Allan Williams was sentenced at the Southwark Crown Court on Monday for abusing his knowledge of the MoJ system for his own financial gain.

Williams, manager in the MoJ’s commercial and financial control sector, set up payment plans to a fake company.

He stole the money by creating a £7m purchase order for an IT services contract from Sopra Business Consulting – his made up business which was described as an information and technology consultancy on Companies House.

He then set up a monthly payment to his fake business over two years, which was then transferred from the company’s account to his personal account.

As a senior civil servant he would have earned between £50,000 and £60,000 a year, which would not have paid for his lavish lifestyle. Williams bought a mansion in Hampshire and an Audi SQ5.

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson told Accountancy Daily: ‘Allan Williams abused his position as a trusted member of staff and used his knowledge of our controls to circumvent them.

‘We had already strengthened our systems before we discovered his fraud and have since carried out a further review to ensure that it would be even harder to commit such an offence.’

In the end Williams was caught when a junior civil servant grew suspicious of the transaction in July 2019.

After this suspicion was reported to the police, they found that Williams transferred approximately £1.4m of MoJ funds to himself, with an additional £400,000 sitting in the Sopra Business Consulting account.

He was the sole director of Sopra Business Consulting which is still active according to Companies House records. He filed total exemption full accounts for year end 31 August 2018 on 14 March last year.  

Before being found out, the Sopra Business Consulting account had reported £292,012, according to Companies House.

The MoJ has recovered £900,000 and is currently hunting the remaining funds.

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