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King’s Lynn business looks to future after £1.3 million fraud case

todayJune 16, 2021 3

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A Lynn clothing firm says it is optimistic for the future after a former staff member was jailed over a fraud which cost them more than £1.3 million.

Andrew Charles May, 44, stole the money from SealSkinz over a period of more than four years to fund a gambling habit.

The case is likely to raise new questions about how the industry is regulated, following calls from MPs and campaigners for stricter rules.

Norwich Crown Court.. (9380028)
Norwich Crown Court.. (9380028)

But bosses of the company, which is based in Oldmedow Road on the Hardwick industrial estate, say they are focused on future growth and are pleased the case is finally over.

Director Alistair Kent said: “Sealskinz discovered and swiftly addressed an historic fraud within the business, which has now been concluded by the relevant authorities including Norfolk Police.

“Following internal investigations, we are confident that there is no lasting operational impact upon the business and Sealskinz continues to trade well despite this fraud and the effects of COVID-19. We are optimistic about future growth.

“Sealskinz is committed to continuing to produce the highest quality outdoor products, and we appreciate the continued support and engagement of our employees, consumers and retail partners.”

May, of Philip Nurse Road, Dersingham, was sentenced to four years in prison when he appeared before Norwich Crown Court on Monday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by false representation, committed between February 2015 and July 2019, during an initial hearing before Lynn magistrates in January.

Court papers show he made payments from the firm’s bank account to his own, altered bank statements to hide the transactions and created false invoices.

The case comes amid an ongoing government review of gambling laws and calls for tighter rules, including a potential ban on betting advertising and sponsorship.

Earlier this year, the Gambling Commission announced a series of new measures which are due to come into force this autumn.

But campaign groups have argued that stricter regulation could have helped to reduce the impact of May’s behaviour.

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todayJune 16, 2021