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Man sentenced after pleading guilty to defrauding employer

The scales of justice and the words

A man has been sentenced after defrauding his employer of tens of thousands of pounds over an 18-month period.

Muhammad Shafiq held a financial role at a media company in Bristol where between January 2020 and June 2021, he stole approximately £81,000 from his employer. He has since paid back the money.

The 33-year-old transferred money initially to his own bank account and then to a company he set up.

Bristol Crown Court was told on Thursday 9 May that Shafiq put the money towards a deposit on a house and to a new car loan.

Shafiq, of Wells Road in Bristol, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position. He received a 12-month suspended prison sentence and was ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.

PC Andrew Smetham, officer in the case, said: “Fraud is not a victimless crime. Even though the money was paid back, Shafiq’s actions were estimated to have cost the company somewhere in the region of £40,000, due to its own expenses and rectifying the losses they incurred.

“This conviction shows we will pursue fraudsters and seek to bring them before the courts for their crimes.

“We are now considering an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act to obtain any profit Shafiq made as a result of his offending.”

Have you been a victim of fraud? We urge anyone who is a victim to report it to Action Fraud online or on 0300 123 2040.