the charity’s Vice-President had become suspicious
Manjinder Virdi, aged 37, of Charlton, was jailed for three years after he defrauded a charity out of more than £200,000 to fund his online gambling habit.
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Virdi worked at the Poplar-based charity, first joining in May 2015.
He was appointed as a financial administrator and later promoted to finance officer.
Virdi’s role involved various financial and accountancy functions, allowing him access to the company bank and PayPal accounts.
The fraud first came to light on May 20, 2019, when another staff member received an email from their bank about potentially fraudulently activity in their accounts.
The email was forwarded to Virdi and he was asked to look into it.
Virdi claimed that he had spoken to the bank and said it was a scam email that should be ignored.
A day later, the same worker asked Virdi again to check that the email was a scam.
Virdi told the colleague that he had spoken to the bank and was told there had been some fraudulent activity, but that the bank were going to contact him directly with the details.
But the charity’s Vice-President had become suspicious and spoken to the bank, discovering that a number of payments had been made into Virdi’s accounts. Meanwhile, Virdi was unaware of the development.
On May 22, the police were called and they attended the company building, where they found Virdi sitting at his office desk.
He was arrested and taken to a police station for questioning. Virdi was later released under investigation.
Detectives found that Virdi had transferred over £200,000 into his personal bank accounts in several transactions over a period of 20 months.
Thousands of pounds had been deposited to online gambling websites.
Virdi pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position under the Fraud Act 2006.
The court heard how Virdi had been assessed as having a gambling and depressive disorder which had contributed to the offences.
There is an ongoing investigation in an attempt to recover some of the stolen funds.
Detective Constable Gavin Markey, of the Met’s Central East Command Unit, said:
“Virdi was entrusted to manage and protect the company’s finances and he completely abused his position and the confidence placed in him, almost as if he expected to get away with it.
“In one series of transactions from October to November 2018, he took just over £85,000.
“From February to May 2019 he stole just over £53,000.
“These staggering sums of money were then frittered away via online gambling websites.”
“Virdi tried to play his colleagues for fools when they were initially contacted by the bank but they knew something was not adding up and their suspicions were confirmed.
“Their efforts and support during our investigation has been invaluable in ensuring Virdi’s conviction and sentencing.”
Manjinder Virdi was jailed for three years.