A former logistics manager for David Brown Ltd in Huddersfield has gone on trial accused of stealing over £100,000 while working for the company.
David Hall, prosecuting, claimed to a jury at Leeds Crown Court today that Craig Vear’s dishonesty came to light after he was made redundant on March 31, 2013.
He alleged inquiries then showed Vear had submitted false invoices from a company of which he was the sole proprietor.
Vear, 46 of Leymoor Road, Golcar, denies the theft of £110,231 and a charge of fraud by failing to disclose his links to two external companies.
Mr Hall said Vear joined David Brown on May 2, 1994 and rose to become head of logistics in January, 2009. His department was responsible for arranging the transport since the company did not have its own.
At that time he had a new contract of employment which specified: “You must not engage in other work outside the business that will conflict with your employment within the company.
"You are also required to notify the company of all external interests and positions which may be in conflict with your position within the company and the company’s interests generally.”
Mr Hall claimed Vear breached the terms of his contract by not revealing he was the sole proprietor of Colne Valley Express Transport (CVET) from 2006 onwards, which had no commercial vehicles or commercial premises of its own.
He also did not disclose his interest as a director of another business T Jackson Transport which later became JV Haulage.
Mr Hall alleged between July 1, 2007 and March 31, 2013 by the simple fraud of submitting false invoices from Colne Valley Express Transport, Vear was able to steal from his employers.
After Vear’s redundancy the financial director Ian Stephenson looked back “at what had been going on and found this wrongdoing.”
He said as a result the police arrested Vear and bank statements and documents relating to Colne Valley Express were seized and analysed and a prosecution accountant would claim the money taken was spent on “expensive holidays, cars and high living.”
Mr Stephenson took the jury to an example of an invoice submitted by CVET which claimed to have delivered goods to Berlin for £2,702 plus VAT. He maintained that delivery had actually been done by another firm which had billed Colne Valley for the work at roughly £400 less.
“Craig’s job was to get the best price for the company not to make a profit for CVET to which he was connected,” he said.
The trial continues.