A Royal Navy veteran who worked for a charity has been jailed after he funnelled donations into six of his own bank accounts in £117,000 fraud.
Philip Gibbs, Horndean, Hampshire, took cash from Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association between 2013 and 2018.
The 64-year-old, awarded medals from the Falklands and the Gulf War, bought a £46,000 Land Rover for himself and also tried to buy a Tesla.
The veteran was sentenced to 27 months in prison and mumbled “please sir, not” as he was released.
Philip Gibbs, 64, from Horndean, near Portsmouth, Hampshire, has been jailed after he targeted charities as part of a £117,000 fraud
Across five years, Gibbs swindled a total of £117,000 from an organisation which represents the British outdoor leisure industry.
Gibbs, the company secretary, was the only employee of LOFA and had full access to its bank accounts. He also took cash from ‘right beneath their noses’.
Gibbs sent a £5,000 donation for charity Marie Curie to his own account then did the same again for a £2,500 Cystic Fibrosis donation in April 2016.
The Royal Navy veteran, awarded medals from the Falklands and the Gulf War, bought a £46,000 Land Rover for himself
Gibbs sent a £5,000 donation for charity Marie Curie to his own account then did the same again for a £2,500 Cystic Fibrosis donation in April 2016
He used five methods to siphon off cash, including making out 32 cheques for just more than £38,000 by using names of innocent employees of another organisation.
He made £53,891 in purchase orders, including the two involving charities.
He also made £16,000 via refunds on hotels and hospitality costs, spent £2,739 on a Shell fuel card filling up his own cars, despite this being for his company car.
Gibbs also made five purchases totalling £5,800, including £1,000 on walkie-talkies and an electric charging point outside the office.
Workers at LOFA in Waterlooville were shocked to discover the fraud.
Gibbs had been made redundant – with a £20,000 package – and an admin worker who was brought in discovered thousands of pounds were missing.
Portsmouth Crown Court was told by Tom Nicholson, the prosecutor, that an email purported to be from his wife was sent. It claimed that he had ‘contracted’ skin cancer and underwent experimental treatment.
A second email stated Gibbs did not remember taking money due to his mental and physical health, but felt obligated to repay. In all he paid back £2,705.
Judge David Melville QC sentenced Gibbs for’very serious abuse’ of his position in fraud involving significant planning’ and having a’serious effect’ on the company.
The veteran was sentenced to 27-months in prison. He mumbled “please sir”, as he was sentenced
Judge Melville QC jailed Gibbs, who admitted to fraud, and said that the directors would have been cause for ‘not much anxiety’.
Ed Hollingsworth, an mitigating witness, stated that the fraud was pretty basic’.
He stated that although his fraud was serious, it was not fraud targeting individuals or had a material effect on them.
Gina Hinde, the current company secretary at LOFA, stated that it was a surprise because he was running a business.
“We give to charity every other year. He even took that money for himself.
“It was a shocking shock that shocked everyone. They couldn’t believe it.
“We did some forensic accounting. We looked through all the books to see what he had done. That’s when we discovered all the different items he took.
“We didn’t find out until he was made redundant. It was a letter which arrived at the office. The chair then looked at it and concluded that “it isn’t correct”.
“It’s amazing – he had all that money (in retirement) and it was going for years.”