Buckinghamshire-based test specialist Glenn Todd hoodwinked Mourant Services during a major IT project last year by submitting forged timesheets when he was off sick. Mourant spent months double-checking its records and introducing new security systems after the case came to light.
The company's IT department has since introduced a daily check on contractor attendance which is cross-referenced with the suppliers' invoices, to guard against a repeat of the scam.
Mourant's recruitment agency, The Triangle Partnership, has spent a year trying to recover the money after refunding Mourant. The deception was uncovered when Todd posted a message on the Friends Reunited Web site asking friends to get in touch, months after his partner had claimed he had died of cancer in the US.
The case highlights the importance of employee vetting and proper checking of timesheets for companies that employ freelance staff.
Roy Daisley, director of corporate investigators Carratu International, advised employers to vet freelancers before hiring them. "It is very important that you are sure the people you employ are who they say they are and they have the skills and experience that made you want to employ them," he said.
"You can find out everything you need to know for less than £100 and have the results back in a couple of days," Daisley said.
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