Speedy Hire and Walter Lilly bosses in fraud trial

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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Two construction bosses have been accused of creating £120,000 worth of bogus invoices for tools and Henry Hoovers.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Mark Tolley, 42, of Carlisle Road, Sutton, is alleged to have repeatedly made fake orders for equipment and services from plant hire specialists Speedy Hire.

Senior buyer Mr Tolley, who worked at building contractors Walter Lilly, teamed up with Speedy Hire manager Robert Armstrong, 42, of Sidcup, to carry out the con, according to the prosecution.

The Sutton Guardian reported the duo are said to have regularly invented invoices for tools, vacuum cleaners and removal jobs.

Suspicions were raised when it was found that all the orders related to Walter Lilly’s head office in Croydon, Surrey, and not construction sites.

Prosecutor Mark Trafford said: “The fraud was perpetrated by these two defendants acting together. It involved both of them manipulating the procedures that were in place for their own benefit.

“Only one of those defendants is in the dock because the other one has pleaded guilty.

“Robert Armstrong was a defendant but he is now a prosecution witness as well. You will here from him in relation to the prosecution case.”

The court heard that Armstrong had processed the fraudulent orders at Speedy Hire’s Salter Street depot in east London.

Trafford told the jury: “He was responsible for dealing with all the purchase orders made by Mark Tolley. They acted together all the time.”

He then highlighted several invoices for equipment for Walter Lilly’s HQ, including one for 10 Henry Hoover vacuum cleaners and 10 drills totalling £3,500.

But the prosecution claimed that orders for a further 65 Henry hoovers, over a 15-month period, were delivered in January, April and July yet they all went to the Croydon office.

Walter Lilly was also repeatedly invoiced for a series of removal jobs at its HQ, including the clearance of fire extinguishers, the court heard.

But Trafford said: “Speedy are normally a hire company and not a company which are used to take fire extinguishers away and clear up sites and things like that.

“The reality is either the goods were never delivered, these Hoovers were never delivered, these tools were never delivered or the work was never done.”

The trial continues.

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