Representing the Government, their role was to help people from difficult backgrounds back into work…
Instead, a court has found that 10 workers from Action 4 Employment (A4E) scammed £300,000 in taxpayers’ money after creating a ‘culture of dishonesty’.
Staff members forged signatures, fabricated scores of files and lied about helping people to find jobs so they could meet targets and get bonuses.
Reading Crown Court Judge Angela Morris sent six of the scammers to jail – passing down suspended sentences on the remaining four.
She found that the ‘systematic practice’ of compiling bogus files at A4e had gone on for a ‘considerable period of time’ – behaviour which she described as ‘appallingly cavalier’ – as reported in the Little Hampton Gazette.
Addressing the accused, she said: “Sometimes – in highly pressurised situations – people may become confused; or make mistakes; or fail to think rationally in a way that they otherwise might in a calmer environment.
‘But no amount of pressure justifies the wholesale fabrication of information in files, or the forgery of other people’s signatures on documents – all of which is designed to extract money from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).
‘It is simply wrong – and no amount of training or support is needed to understand that proposition.”
The deception was uncovered at A4E when one staff member, Julie Grimes, told a newly-recruited adviser that she forged signatures, who then alerted a senior member of staff.
Prosecutor Sarah Wood said that between them, the accused created 167 false claims, which cost the DWP £288,595.
To read the full court report, visit: http://www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/news/regional/recruitment-fraudsters-jailed-1-6666117