Chiswick 'Innocent' Smoothie Employee Stole Cash

Five figure sum 'scam' bought luxury goods and South African trip



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A Chiswick woman employed as an accountant at the Innocent smoothie company, stole a five-figure sum over a period of three years from the company

Priya Moodley, 35, was paid £49,000 a year but she sent company money totalling over £26,000 to a bank account between 2012 and 2015 and used it to buy luxury goods and a holiday to see her mother in South Africa.

Southwark Crown court heard that the scam was carried out by Ms. Moodley overpaying fruit and vegetable suppliers to the smoothie company and then asking them to repay the money, but she provided them with details of her own account.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by abuse of position.

Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks said that she had been employed in the company as a ledger manager and her salary was about 49,000 per year at the time of her arrest.

"The prosecution said that that seven unlawful transactions were made between 2 April 2012 and 14 March 2015 which effectively enriched the defendant to the total sum of £26,672," he said.

The court was told by the prosecution how the scam was carried out. "For example a sum of £5,000 would be paid into the recipient company's account in preparation, the defendant would then contact the supply company and say 'we have made a mistake, we have overpaid you.'

"Of course the recipient company would then make the payment back not to the company but to the defendant's personal account."

Moodley provided her own bank details to the suppliers and they unknowingly sent the money to that account.

She was caught after a company audit revealed the "suspicious" transactions.

August 2, 2015