VAR Ex-Staff Implicated In Fake Invoice Scheme

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Ex-staff at two resellers, Nettitude and Bytes Software, have been implicated in a scheme that defrauded co-operative Nisa Today out of £123,000, a Lincolnshire court heard. Grimsby Crown Court was told that Barry Hesk, a former director of Nettitude, and Aatish Dudani, an ex-employee of Bytes Software, participated in two separate conspiracies organised by Trevor

Ex-staff at two resellers, Nettitude and Bytes Software, have been implicated in a scheme that defrauded co-operative Nisa Today out of £123,000, a Lincolnshire court heard.

Grimsby Crown Court was told that Barry Hesk, a former director of Nettitude, and Aatish Dudani, an ex-employee of Bytes Software, participated in two separate conspiracies organised by Trevor Guerin, at the time an IT procurement manager with Nisa.

False invoices

Guerin falsified invoices, inflating them or billing for products that didn’t exist over a period of five years, the court was told. The “driving force” of the conspiracy, according to Judge Simon Jack, he personally received a total of £34,180 in cash through one contact and £16,000 from the other, as well as a Dell laptop, netbooks, wine and chocolates.

In one case Nisa paid £18,700 in licensing fees for Oracle’s Crystal Ball predictive modelling software, which would normally have cost £700, according to prosecutor Gordon Stables.

Guerin was jailed for two years after admitting to three offences of inflating invoices and breach of trust in the workplace, according to local news reports.

Hesk was given a 26-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work, while Dudani received a 12-month community order and will carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Pavlos Panayi, defending Dudani, said a high-energy bonus culture and the corrupting influence of Guerin were partly to blame for leading the ex-Bytes employee astray.

Isolated incident

Nettitude told ChannelBiz that the funds in question have been repaid in full.

“Barry Hesk resigned immediately the matter came to light,” said Nettitude managing director Rowland Johnson in a statement provided to ChannelBiz. “Nettitude has strong integrity and business ethics, and took decisive measures as soon as this one-off incident came to our attention.”

Bytes emphasised that the conspiracy was an isolated incident.

“At no point did Bytes or our former employee financially benefit from this incident which was orchestrated by the customer’s employee,” said Bytes managing director Neil Murphy in a statement provided to ChannelBiz. “In the 30 years that Bytes has been trading this is the first time we have been a victim of an incident of this kind and we are pleased that it has now been dealt with by the authorities.”