No company is immune to fraud. We’ve seen large companies, small companies, well-known companies, and unknown companies. We’ve got another well-known organization in today’s fraud, Manchester City Football Club. Like other UK frauds, we get some details, but not enough specifics.
Fiona Barclay worked as a Business Development Manager for Man City in their hospitality department. Her salary was reportedly £30,000 a year. From 2019 to 2021 she stole more than £100,000. In 2021 accountants took note of a £25,000 refund because it was a large round number. They discovered that £15k of that amount had been deposited to Barclay’s personal account. When confronted, Barclay claimed it was an error and returned the £15k. Further digging revealed the full scope of the theft.
In various statements, Barclay claimed she took the money to pay for part of her wedding and to buy gifts for her husband and family. In later statements, Barclays claimed the fraud was a ‘coping mechanism’ as a result of her mental health issues.
The core fraud seems to be that Barclay would redirect all or part of refunds due to Man City to her personal account. Additionally, she was accused of inappropriately accessing customer bank accounts, though Man City claims no customer funds were accessed. This is where the maddening lack of detail comes in. Knowing more would help prevent similar frauds.
Still, redirecting refunds is a pretty good fraud. Presumably, the company has already expensed the funds. They may or may not be looking for a refund and the amount of an expected refund may not be clear. That lack of clarity helps make this fraud possible.
Barclay was sentenced to 18 months in prison. She served 9 months behind bars and the rest on probation. She was only required to pay back £2,550.