A Birmingham Crown Court has convicted a young, former employee of two giant property firms for committing fraud. Terry Childress was convicted of a fraud of £4.5 million to feed his ever-growing gambling addiction.
A complex fraud
Between 2007 and 2011, the now 34-year-old Terry Childress worked with BNP Paribas Real Estate and GVA Grimley. In both firms he engineered false rent incomes, receipts, client payments and fake invoices to steal a grand total of £4,434,274. Moreover, to avoid suspicion, Childress logged in through his colleague’s accounts and wired the money to his friends and family.
With the money that he siphoned off, Childress went on to feed his out-of-control addiction by gambling on a daily basis, the Court noted.
The Birmingham Crown Court has awarded a sentence of five years to Terry Childress for the fraud. Childress was particularly faulted for causing the suspicion to fall on innocent parties and putting them under unwarranted distress. It included using his co-workers’ log-in credentials to steal money. He, also, transferred a sum of £500,000, from company funds, to his ex-girlfriend after telling her that he had won the amount while gambling.
The incident came to light only after BNP Paribas Real Estate start investigating account discrepancies, after Childress had quit the company. Soon, the company was to discover a Barclay account with transactions up to £250,000. The account was in Childress’ name. A court order issued soon after, brought Childress’ down to his knees.
Since the beginning of the investigation, however, Childress’ had extended his full cooperation to authorities and has also pleaded guilty on two counts. He had expressed his desire to repay the money through the assets and admitted that what he had done was unforgivable.