The former chief executive of a spread betting company who helped himself to more than £300,000 of its funds before it went into special administration has been ordered to repay every penny, with interest, by the High Court.
During the four years in which he led the company, the businessman had repeatedly asked its accounts department to pay him large sums for his benefit. He had made more than 80 such requests and received £540,409. He had promised to repay the sums by cheque but had in fact reimbursed only £231,087 before he resigned. The company sued him for the balance.
He retorted that he was ‘astonished’ to be facing legal action. He insisted that the money he received was fair recompense for his hard work and the skills he brought to the company. The form of his remuneration was more ‘convenient’ and took advantage of discounted foreign exchange rates enjoyed by the company.
The Court acknowledged that the explanations put forward by the businessman had displayed ‘considerable ingenuity’. However, they were ‘totally devoid of merit or common sense’ when measured against the background and evidence. He was indebted to the company to the tune of £309,321 and was ordered to repay that sum, together with accrued interest.