FORMER Wrexham FC chairman Paul Retout was sentenced to 16 months in jail yesterday after admitting defrauding a company by nearly £60,000.
Retout, 53, pictured right, was a partner at London-based Quadrangle Group LLP, where he was in charge of finances, when he submitted invoices for work he had not done between 2007 and 2008.
The father-of-three had started working at the firm as a financial controller in 1989, Kingston Crown Court in south-west London heard.
He made the fraudulent claims for payment after his family life became ‘chaotic’ following a move to North Wales, Retout’s defence counsel Nicholas Johnson said.
Judge Nicholas Jones told Retout, of Ruthin: “You were not acting dishonestly from the outset, but you became dishonest when you later invoiced and obtained money for work you had not done and for which you were not entitled, money obtained from the partnership.”
He accepted Retout, who is set to be stripped of his professional standing as a chartered accountant, has expressed remorse and was ‘under some pressures’ at the time.
Sentencing him to 16 months, the judge admitted the time spent in custody would not be ‘anything like that amount of time’ and said Retout could be released earlier on a home detention curfew.
Retout pleaded guilty to committing fraud by abuse of position last month, accepting a charge of dishonestly abusing his position as a partner at Quadrangle Group LLP ‘to make a gain for himself or to cause loss to another’ by obtaining payment for fees and/or expenses which he was not entitled to ‘in whole or in part’. As well as claiming for work he had not done, Retout also carried out work that had not been authorised in advance by the firm and proceeded to invoice them, the court heard.
The total he obtained was £59,806.25
Retout has settled civil proceedings with Quadrangle and has made a part-repayment.