Prescott’s department tightens controls after fake accountant jailed

Internal controls at John Prescott’s department have been strengthened after
it employed a fake qualified accountant who stole hundreds of thousands of
pounds from the taxpayer.

The move followed the sentencing of Robert Adewunmi, an unqualified
accountant who claimed he was ACCA-qualified to secure a job at the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minster, and then stole £867,000 from his employers. Adewumni
from Slough in Berkshire was given a four-year prison sentence for the fraud.

He was brought in as a troubleshooter in the department’s budget and data
management division.

The department said it had initiated ‘various changes’ to internal procedures
to prevent a repeat of the incident, where Adewunmi created a fake CV to gain
employment at the ODPM, and then set up a front company and imaginary colleague
to steal the funds.

‘ODPM procedures in respect of temporary staff were changed before this fraud
was discovered, but not before it had taken place,’ said an ODPM spokeswoman.

‘They have been subject to further review and strengthening since,’ she said.

Adewunmi admitted one count of fraudulent trading and one of money laundering
between September 2003 and September 2004 at Southwark Crown Court last week.


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