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Man sentenced for fraud offences - Diss

A man who duped two organisations out of nearly £180,000 has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

Trevor Lee, aged 56 and of Elm Grove, Diss, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today (24/11/2022) after pleading guilty to two counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position. The charge relates to a number of incidents between 2017 and 2019 in which Lee had been working as a treasurer for the Norfolk Rugby Union Referee Society (NRURS), and later as a Director for a company named Salire Ltd.

During this time Lee had duped both the NRURS and his employer Salire Ltd out of large sums of money. He achieved this by merging the society’s funds with his personal accounts, writing false cheques to temporarily inflate the balance, and declaring false balances at AGMs and to the Financial Conduct Authority. He also sold stock, owned by his employer Salire Ltd, and had fraudulent invoices being paid into his personal account, rather than the business.

The newly elected Chair of NRURS discovered Lee’s offending when he requested to be added as a signature on the rugby club’s accounts and discovered that the balance was only 65p instead of over £24,000. Lee’s employer, Salire Ltd, was informed of his offending by the club chair as the business was a sponsor of the club. This sparked a full investigation into his activities.

It was later confirmed that Lee had stolen exactly £80,095 from NRURS and £97,908 from Salire Ltd respectively.

When confronted by investigating officers, Lee admitted the first offence, stating that he used the funds to finance his gambling addiction. He has since made efforts to repay some of the money taken from NRURS.  Lee provided no comment in relation to offence involving Salire Ltd.

Today (24/11/2022), Trevor Lee was sentenced to a total of three years and four months in prison.

DC Natalie McCormack, the investigating officer of the NRURS fraud offence said, “Lee used his position of trust in both organisations for his own gain. His prolonged offending has deprived a Norfolk sporting community of valuable financial resources for years, resources that should have benefited the sport of Rugby. His actions were selfish and manipulative and showed a complete disregard for his victims, many of whom considered him a friend.”

I am pleased with the sentence as it reflects the impact Lee’s offending has had on his local community and hope the victims can find some comfort knowing he can now no longer offend.”

DS Stuart Sansbury, investigating officer of the Salire Ltd fraud offence said, “Whilst working as a Director for Salire Ltd, Lee had a responsibility to uphold the best interests and moral standards of a reputable trading company.  Instead, he deceitfully mishandled company stock, and embezzled company money to helped fund his personal gambling addiction.  The impact on Salire Ltd was profound, and they struggled enormously, putting the welfare and livelihood of its staff at great risk.  

Due to his actions, Lee is now going to spend a considerable amount of time in prison, and I sincerely hope that today’s sentence provides the victims with some reassurance and hope for the future.  It also demonstrates the Constabulary’s mission to protect our businesses and communities and deliver exceptional policing services for Norfolk.”