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Sunday, 22 September

Mum's the Word in £1 Million Fraud Case

A man who defrauded the Department for Education out of over £1 million has been jailed. Edward Fowkes Chapman was sentenced on Wednesday 15 June to three years and four months imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

The fraud occurred whilst Chapman was working at the Department for Education as a Higher Executive Officer in a department responsible for administering a multi-million pound budget for community youth projects, encouraging sport and with an aim of tackling obesity.

He set up two companies - 'JP Swimsafe Ltd' and 'My Swim Ltd' - for the sole purpose of receiving stolen funds from the Department for Education. He then authorised seven separate money transfers totalling £1,103,000 to these companies of which he was the sole Director between July 2006 and December 2008

In 2009 he bought a 1,577 square foot flat set out over three floors in the Wandsworth area with some of the money and moved in. The flat which was on the market for £849,950 in 2009 is now valued at around £1,400,000.

Chapman also bought a property in Rochester in August 2014 for £116,000 with the help of a mortgage for £80,000 and he then let the property. It is now estimated to be worth around £145,000.

Police were notified by the Department for Education after Chapman's girlfriend discovered that large sums of money had gone into his account from his employer. She informed Chapman's mother, who also worked at the Department for Education, who immediately informed her employers' of this in October 2015.

When interviewed, Chapman admitted the offences and pled guilty at an early stage.

Detective Sergeant Richard Ward from the Met's Fraud Squad said: "This was a gross breach of trust. Chapman was in a very responsible position and he breached that trust totally. If it hadn't been for his mother coming forward and alerting the authorities to the fraud it may never have been discovered."

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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