Midhurst man found guilty of £262k fraud

Jason Huggett
Jason Huggett

A Midhurst facilities manager is facing four years in prison after being found guilty of fraudulently filing fabricated invoices in favour of his family’s firms.

A police spokesman said Jason Huggett, 42, of Park Crescent was employed by Belron International in Egham where he negotiated contracts, arranged for work to be carried out across the site and authorised payments for work.

Guildford Crown Court heard how an internal audit at Belron found discrepancies with many of the contracts he had awarded.

The spokesman said: “Between 2011 and 2013 he settled invoices for non-existent work to companies owned by his wife, Simone, 42, also of Park Crescent, and mother Heather Huggett, 62, of Southfield Road, Stockton on Tees, paid over the odds for fencing work by his brother in law’s ceiling company, (Darren Parker of Thorntree Avenue, Middlesborough) and falsified expense claims, equipment sales and receipts. He also manipulated a legitimate business relationship to obtain personal vehicles from a supplier.

“In total the court found he was responsible for fraud worth £262,719,” said the spokesman.

During the investigation, the police spokesman said it emerged his brother, Adam Huggett, 39, of Baker’s View, Corfe Mullen, Dorset, a senior project manager for the Metropolitan Police, was committing fraud against his employer. The counter fraud team,investigating offences against the Metropolitan Police, found Adam Huggett had been splitting larger contracts to bring them below the threshold he was able to award.

The police spokesman said the counter fraud team estimated he fraudulently obtained some £126,621 - much of which was paid into accounts controlled by family members.

Det Insp Matt Durkin, head of the financial investigation unit at Surrey Police said: “This was a very complex case, which took substantial time and effort to unravel.”

After a six week trial at Guildford Crown Court, Jason Huggett and five of his family were sentenced on June 30.

He was found guilty of six counts of fraud relating to Belron, and two counts relating to the Metropolitan Police and sent to prison for four years and three months. His brother Adam was found guilty of one count relating to Belron, and three counts relating to the Metropolitan police service and was given two years in prison. Heather Huggett was found guilty of one count relating to Belron, and one to the Metropolitan Police and was sentenced to two years suspended for two years. Darren Parker was found guilty of one count relating to Belron and given 18 months in prison suspended for two years. Justine Parker, Jason’s sister, 36, of Deighton Road, Middlesborough, was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron and sentenced to six months suspended for 12 months. Jason’s wife Simone, was found guilty of one count relating to Belron, and one count to the Metropolitan Police and was given a one year suspended sentence.

This report was based on privileged information released by Surrey Police. The original statement contained inaccurate information relating to the amounts of money involved. Surrey Police has subsequently corrected the inaccuracies and this version of the story incorporates those amendments. The police have also apologised for the inaccuracies, and said they are sorry for any distress or difficulties that these inaccuracies may have caused to the families of the individuals concerned.

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