East India Club reviews processes after £500k fraud

by Kevin Reed

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27 Aug 2014

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Cards on the table

ONE OF THE UK's most famous member clubs had £500,000 stolen from its accounts by its treasurer.

Alfonso Ramirez, 44, transferred £552,000 between 2013 and 2014 from the East India Club into his own account. He pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, reports The Telegraph.

Ramirez committed the fraud because of his gambling addiction, Mizan Abdulrouf said when defending him.

In the 2013/14 accounts of the 160 year-old club, its chairman Iain Wolsey said that a modernisation of its financial management, systems and processes was being undertaken "to ensure such an event should never occur again". The club had written to all its members in February to tell them of the discovery of unauthorised transfer from its RBS electronic account.

Two independent reviews of the club were commissioned: a review of controls, processes and procedures; and a forensic investigation to trace the missing funds.

The club's accounts, audited by PKF Littlejohn, have been qualified for several years as it will not undertake a revaluation of the club's premises.

"It remains the [East India Club] committee's view that the revaluation of the club's premises does not enhance the understanding of the club's financial statement and the significant cost of such an exercise brings no benefit to the club, its members, or creditors", stated the chairman's report.

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