Porsche and party-loving accountant jailed for fraud

A party-loving accountant has been jailed for a £200,000 fraud that helped him ‘live the high life’.

Anthony John Ansell, 59, pleaded not guilty to 34 charges of fraud at Carlisle Crown Court but was found guilty of 15 of them after a trial last week.

Ansell, who has two previous convictions for similar offences in the 1980s, pleaded guilty to two offences of money laundering committed in Bristol.

He was jailed on Monday for a total of three years and banned from being a company director for five years.

The court heard how Ansell, of Werneth Low Road, Hyde, Cheshire, wrote cheques he was not entitled to sign between June 2008 and November 2010 after two business associates employed him as a £50,000-a-year site manager and accountant at Greengarth Business Park in Holmrook.

Despite having no written contract, Ansell ‘lived the high life’ in a large house, kept horses and drove convertible cars including a Porsche 911 and a BMW Z3, and regularly hosted lavish parties.

His dishonesty was uncovered in the spring of 2011 after his business associates discovered he had forged their signatures on a cheque made out to a stockbroker, the News & Star reports.

Defence barrister Mark Heywood QC said that though Ansell had ‘a long history of acting as a company secretary or director’, his job at the business park was of less importance even though he ‘had very wide discretion in the running of the company.’

He said Ansell had now lost his large house that he hoped would furnish him with an income in his old age and he had no prospect of any other pension.

He said he now had ‘virtually no assets’.

Passing sentence, Recorder Roderick Carus QC told Ansell that what he did amounted to a gross breach of the trust that the company directors - who had once been his friends - had placed in him.

Prosecuting counsel Andrew Ford said there were no plans to make Ansell repay any money through the Proceeds of Crime Act, though he reserved the right to do so if he ever came into any money in the future.

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