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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 7072
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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I have been suspended for gross misconduct, the offence was

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I have been suspended for gross misconduct, the offence was to falsify my expenses claims over a period of some 2 years. I have seen a sample of the dossier my employer has compiled and it is indefensible.
I have the hearing in 2 days time, where I fully expect them to present the evidence.
I am wondering what the right response may be - should I admit or deny any wrongdoing?
If I offer to pay back all the money in settlement would that mean a criminal prosecution is less likely?
We're taking in the region of £25-30k.
If it is indefensible then defending it is pointless.
You should admit it but present whatever reasons you have for doing it .
Offering full repayment, by instalments if you cannot afford the full sum in one go, can help avoid prosecution.
Employers are not usually keen to prosecute in this situation although some do as a matter of policy. Many however worry that the fact you could actually successfully fiddle your expenses for a period of 2 years will reflect on them. They generally prefer to avoid publicity because it suggests their own systems in failing to detect it may be awry.
Bearing all this in mind it is in your interests to co operate.
I hope this helps, if there are any further points please reply
Best wishes
Michael Holly and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Michael,

If the company decides to prosecute, what sort of punishment am I likely to receive?

Best Regards,

Jon Reeves

Dear Jon
It is a reasonably large amount of money and a breach of trust.
Much would depend on the way you did it, why and the length of time involved. Also whether you have any previous convictions would be important. You are in danger of a prison sentence unless there are strong mitigating factors and this was totally out of character.
Best wishes
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for this Michael,

The way I did it was to claim for non-existant hotel stays and train journeys. Over 2 years, probably greater than 60 inidividual offences.

The reason for doing it was that the company had forced me to accept short-payments against legitimately earned bonus and commission payments, in the region of £20k. This was also against the backdrop of a corrupt environment where senior management pressurised me into acting on their behalf to secure non-existant purchase orders to fatten the order book, to name but one questionable business practice.

I had seen from other colleagues who raised a grievance for non-payment that they were either stone-walled, demoted or paid off with compromise agreements so I didn't think that was a viable option to claim back the money I believe I am owed. This gave way to a feeling of anger and resentment and provided the backdrop for my belief I was acting in an attempt to claw back what I felt I was rightly owed.

This is by no means an excuse, but an explanation.

Furthermore, each and every one of these expenses were signed off by my manager and the MD before being checked by a secretary and an accountant.

In terms of character, I'm a 47 year old businessman with no priors, a decorated high achiever within the company and married with a young family.

I saw a local criminal lawyer on Wednesday who advised I not attend the gross misconduct hearing for danger of incriminating myself. Instead I wrote a polite email to HR advising I would not attend and had no representations to make.

I am fully expecting the company will refer the matter to the police and hope I can negotiate a settlement without it going to court. I have not spent the money on holidays and so forth and can pay it all back and then some. I will ask the monies owing to be taken into consideration and maybe offer to sign a compromise agreement to keep my mouth shut in return for having the matter dropped, maintaining my anonymity and removing the GM charge from the record.

Of course, this is the hope I give myself, what the reality is I don't know as I have committed a serious crime at the end of the day.