A civil servant at the Ministry of Justice has been jailed for fraud after setting up a bogus IT services contract that received regular payments from the department.
Allan Williams, who was a contract manager in the MoJ’s commercial and financial control team, was handed a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence at Southwark Crown Court earlier this week for setting up the scam.
Prosecutors said the 37-year-old had stolen more than £1.7m from the department in the two years after he created a £7m purchase order for an “IT services contract” with Sopra Business Consulting and set up a monthly payment to it.
Companies House lists Williams as the sole director of the business, and the court was told the Grade 7 civil servant transferred payments from the firm’s account to his personal account.
Prosecutors said Williams had bought a lavish home in Hampshire and high-performance cars with the funds generated. However, a junior colleague raised the alarm after becoming suspicious about a payment made in July last year.
An MoJ spokesperson said Williams's employment had been terminated and the department had so far recovered around £900,000 of the misappropriated funds, adding that his conviction would pave the way for the remainder to be recovered.
“Allan Williams abused his position as a trusted member of staff and used his knowledge of our controls to circumvent them,” he said.
“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.
“Most of the money he stole has been recovered and we are now taking further steps to get the remainder.”
Sopra Business Consulting’s most recent accounts said the firm had £292,012 in cash as of 31 August 2018. Williams was listed as its sole director and only employee.