An accounting firm infiltrated by the best scammers

The vase of roses is discovered shortly before the start of the Covid pandemic. At the end of 2019, when companies began to take stock of the past year, the boss of two accounting firms, located in the north and south of the island, was amazed to discover that the tax returns of several clients had arrived. to taxes without having validated them as they should be. Looking a little more closely at the company’s activity for the northern area, he also realizes that some companies are lacking compensation.
The chartered accountant is quick to ask for responsibility from his manager for the northern sector, whose offices have been moved to the west of the island in the period 2018-2019. The 56-year-old man is not a chartered accountant, but he is an expert collaborator in whom the boss has placed his trust with his eyes closed. This is why he entrusted him with the management of the company, shortly after hiring him in June 2016. Not having a degree, the luxury employee must bring the contracts and administrative, accounting and tax documents to the office for validation. Ditto for the remuneration received corresponding to the services provided to customers.
Asked for explanations in late 2019-early 2020, the employee and two other employees at the northern branch lack arguments to remove the suspicions hanging over them. The accountant separates from the Illyan trio soon. But obviously he is not satisfied with starting a dismissal procedure against them. He begins sifting through the accounting, tax and administrative documents stored in the fine team offices. Thus he discovers the existence of customers unknown to him. Not to mention the executives who end up going to the southern cabinet and for whom he has never seen the color of a mission letter or compensation in the computer system that centralizes everything.

GHOST CUSTOMERS AND FAKE INVOICES

Customers report that they have paid their compensation to the employee in cash or by blank check, therefore without order. There is also the trace of transfers that arrive to credit the personal account of the main collaborator at the BFC. Others abounded in cash from a real estate construction company, created in June 2016. The hairy ones at the time of hiring the 50-year-old. That company is run, on paper, by a business executive who specializes in wholesaling and has recently gone bankrupt.
The merchant, whose name serves as a showcase for the construction company, is associated with the clerk of the accounting firm. They also created it together and each holds half of the shares. In the course of the checks, the real accountant discovers that the embezzlement affects more than a hundred clients known to him. But also that more than 150 are ghost clients in the eyes of his accounting firms.
To deceive and ultimately mislead the company’s clientele, the employee would not hesitate to write fake engagement letters and issue fake invoices. The tax returns of client companies, unknown to the accountant, were allegedly “tampered with” to generate compensation for the tax administration. The collaborator would have put himself in the shoes of the accountant he is not, putting his signature in the place of his boss, erasing his identity and his telephone number in passing to put his name and contact details. Many clients have testified that he introduced himself to them as a chartered accountant.

BMW FOR MR., JAGUAR FOR MADAME

To hide the client portfolio rigged to their advantage, the three employees of the north branch used parallel email addresses and therefore unknown to their employer. For almost two years, the amount of embezzlement stood at around € 1.5 million. And probably more. Almost simultaneously, the head of the northern branch suddenly upped his lifestyle over the course of 2017.
In two years, the false accountant has taken out various bank loans for a total amount of over 800,000 euros, either personally or through his companies. He could only be well advised to make investments since his wife occupies a position as a wealth consultant in a large local bank. The couple did not forget to have fun with the acquisition of large sedans.
Owner of two BMWs, the luxury collaborator offered a beautiful gift to his wife. Madame, the heritage consultant, drives a coach behind the wheel of a brand new Jaguar purchased in 2019. in their pockets.
Thanks in law, the fifties hastened to find a job in the profession. An accounting firm, which has a storefront in Reunion and enjoys a solid reputation, offered him a job. How can its managers, well-established in business circles, ignore the alleged embezzlement of their new recruit? It remains a mystery.

Eric Laine
[email protected]

> The unattainable false chartered accountant
Some time ago, the Island diary contacted by telephone the former head of the north branch of the accounting firm in question. First he pretended he didn’t understand what we wanted to talk to him about. Finally, she explained to us that he had to seek the advice of his he attorney. We gave him several days to think before calling him back. But in the last few days he has remained unreachable, despite several phone calls.


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