Sunday, September 20, 2009

Three former Alfred McAlpine directors jailed

Three former Alfred McAlpine Slate directors were jailed today after deliberately overstating the sales and production figures of the division by ВЈ10m.

Around 44% of the company’s reported debtors were fiction, the Serious Fraud Office said.

Former managing director Christopher John Law was jailed for two-and-a-half years. Geraint Roberts, former operations director for the roofing division of Welsh Slate received a 16 month sentence. And Paul Michael Harvey, a former sales director got 10 months.

The Serious Fraud Office said that an example of the directors' deception included showing auditors a stockpile of crates of roofing slate; the outer crates were full but the inner crates empty.


Three former Alfred McAlpine directors jailed


Customer letters were created to give impression that debtors’ payments were in the pipeline, delivery notes and transportation invoices for non-existent consignments were forged.

Alfred McAlpine Slate (known as “Welsh Slate”) was wholly owned by Alfred McAlpine. It represented about 2-3% of the company’s turnover and employed around 400 workers at its quarry near Bangor.

Welsh Slate was a self contained operation, seen by the parent company as low risk. However, in February 2007, Alfred McAlpine informed the stock market it had uncovered systematic deception.

The company also handed over the results of its internal investigation into its subsidiary to North Wales Police, who alerted the SFO.

A joint SFO/police investigation opened in September 2007. In November the following year, the three Welsh Slate executives were charged. All three subsequently pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading and were sentence today at Caernarfon Crown Court.

Directorship bans, payment toward prosecution costs also apply and confiscation proceedings will follow.


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