A Department for Education manager has been jailed for conning the DfE out of more than a million pounds, after his mother, a senior civil servant, informed the authorities.
A court heard that Edward Chapman, who joined the department in 2003, set up bogus companies – called JP Swimsafe Ltd and My Swim Ltd – to get hold of funds intended for swimming programmes, using the diverted money to buy a series of properties for himself.
The total value of the transfers made by Chapman was £1,103,000, and the former higher executive officer's fraud only came to light when his partner noticed irregular payments in his account and then informed Chapman's mother, a deputy director in the DfE.
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According to reports, Chapman's mother then immediately notified the department in October 2015.
The former higher executive officer was this week sentenced to three years and four months in jail, after admitting fraud and obtaining money by deception.
Sentencing Chapman at Southwark Crown Court, Judge Andrew Goymer said: “What you committed was not just fraud, it was a very gross breach of the trust that had been imposed in you by the department."
Detective sergeant Richard Ward of the Metropolitan Police's fraud squad said the former official had committed a "gross breach of trust".
"Chapman was in a very responsible position and he breached that trust totally," Ward added.
"If it hadn’t been for his mother coming forward and alerting the authorities to the fraud it may never have been discovered."
A DfE spokesman said: "Following the discovery of fraudulent transactions last year, a member of staff was dismissed with immediate effect.
"We are taking steps to recover the misappropriated funds in full.
"The department does not tolerate misconduct of any kind and has taken all necessary action to minimise future risk of fraud."