No pay back for conman

COMPANY director Crispin Clay feels cheated today, because the crooked accountant who fleeced him of nearly £60,000 does not have to pay it back.Michael Lloyd, former chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Association of Accounting Technicians, was jailed for three years and nine months last November after embezzling more than £160,000 from two of his clients.

COMPANY director Crispin Clay feels cheated today, because the crooked accountant who fleeced him of nearly £60,000 does not have to pay it back.

Michael Lloyd, former chairman of the Suffolk branch of the Association of Accounting Technicians, was jailed for three years and nine months last November after embezzling more than £160,000 from two of his clients.

Despite Lloyd having pensions worth around £56,000, which are due to come to fruition in less than five years time, they are not deemed as recoverable assets. This is because they could not be cashed in at the time of his crimes in 2003.

Now his only realisable assets are worth a little more than £7,300.


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At a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge David Goodin made a confiscation order for £7,362.65 against Lloyd, of Canada Cottages, Lindsey, near Hadleigh.

However the whole amount will be given as compensation to International Shipping and Trading Company, of Felixstowe, from which the bent bookkeeper swindled £106,998.

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This means Mr Clay's company, Lawncourt Harvest, of Leiston, will not receive a penny of the £59,036 Lloyd siphoned from the business.

Mr Clay, 34, said: "I am very disappointed that he is only being held liable for £7,000 and there are no laws in place to deal with this on a fairer basis for the victim. For the amount of money he has actually stolen, I feel the amount of money he has to pay back at this stage is very unfair.

"I'm obviously pleased he's in jail and paying for his crime on that side of life, but pretty disappointed we are not going to get anything.

"One hundred and sixty thousand pounds is a considerable amount of money. He will probably be out for good behaviour in two years and that's him done.

"I feel cheated that having stolen this amount of money from two companies, all he is really liable for is £7,000."

Mr Clay set up Lawncourt Harvest six years ago with his wife, Lucinda. The company, which manufactures food product, Munchy Seeds, employs 11 workers. Mr Clay said it nearly went under after Lloyd cooked the books, although it is now back on an even keel.

He said: "We have recovered but let's not get away from the fact this gentleman stole money from us and to my mind we are entitled to get the money back, but the law does not seem to have a way. I'm pretty shocked there's nothing to reimburse us."

Mr Clay believes there is little that can now be done to claw the money back. Although still seeking legal advice he said he understands that if he makes a claim against Lloyd, all the accountant has to do is to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying him.

Likewise substantial pensions the 45-year-old has with two companies, which are worth a total of around £56,000, cannot be touched until Lloyd turns 50. Even then Mr Clay is unsure whether a successful claim can be made.

He said: "If I want to try and recover any money he stole I have to wait five years. It's ludicrous that I have to wait for that long for compensation and there is no guarantee that I would be able to lay my hands on it anyway."

Lloyd was jailed after admitting 13 specimen counts of theft and four charges of false accounting. He has also been expelled from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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