A fraudster has been jailed for five years after he scammed a small Bucks business out of more than £80,000 and stole funds from their charity to fund his gambling addiction.

Sohan Basu, 52, of Britannia Road North in Portsmouth was employed as an IT accounts manager at Prestige Promotions in Ivinghoe Aston between 2010 and 2018.

He had been siphoning cash from a company bank account into two that he had set up in his boss's name.

Suspicion was raised in the summer of 2018 when the company director, a man in his 60s, noticed a number of outgoings from his company bank account that he did not recognise.

They were labelled as being his own expenses, but he had never paid them to himself.

He reported the fraud to the police and an investigation revealed more than £45,000 had been transferred into two accounts in the company director's name.

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Basu, 52, had set up the account in his boss's name to avoid suspicion and then used ATMs to withdraw tens of thousands of pounds.

Cheques were also found to have been stolen from company property and deposited into the fake accounts – as were funds from a charity the company set up to support children in Africa.

Despite being arrested in connection with the crimes in March 2019, the blatant fraudster continued to target the same man.

In 2020, his boss started receiving parking fines and notices of prosecution for traffic offences involving a vehicle he knew nothing about.

Basu had registered a vehicle with the DVLA in the name of the victim and had also set up a direct debit using his bank details to pay the insurance policy.

In total, Basu was convicted of fraud amounting to over £81,000.

A substantial amount of the stolen money had been spent on gambling.

Giving evidence in court, the company director said he had always trusted Basu “implicitly” and had felt completely “under siege” at his hands when the crimes were discovered.

Basu was sentenced at Portsmouth Crown Court last Friday (March 19) after previously being found guilty of two counts of fraud by abuse of position, two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of theft.

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Investigating officer Detective Constable James Lacey, of Aylesbury CID, said: “Sohan Basu held a position of ultimate trust involving access to the bank accounts of the small company at which he worked.

“Instead of upholding his responsibility to safeguard the interests of the company, he exploited and abused this position for his own criminal purpose.

“In addition to theft from the business, a quantity of funds stolen by Basu were from a charity established by his employer to provide an education to children in under-privileged regions of Africa.

“Basu’s fraud was pre-meditated, planned and sophisticated. He continued to steal from the business during the Covid-19 pandemic, a time when he would have known that his ex-employer – a travel company – would not be generating any income.

“I am pleased the jury have convicted him of these charges. I would also like to commend the victim for his bravery in not only giving evidence, but also for travelling to Portsmouth and reading his victim impact statement to the court in person during Friday’s sentencing hearing, where he described the devastating impact of Basu’s crimes.”