Payroll clerk caught trying to steal thousands from staff

A “thoroughly dishonest” payroll clerk siphoned more than £55,000 from employees to his bank account and another account he had access to.

Robert Mark Carlin, of no fixed address, acted alone as he creamed off the cash in Nottinghamshire from Reflex Labels Limited, and tried to take money from Bistrot Pierre Ltd.

After pleading guilty to two offences of fraud, Nottingham Crown Court heard Carlin was employed in a trusted position in a payroll department and used the position to siphon money from employees to bank accounts.

He transferred over £55,000 from Reflex Labels Ltd but, after he was found out, repaid just over £9,000.

Then he moved to the payroll for Bistrot Pierre Ltd and attempted to transfer more than £27,000 but the fraud was uncovered before he got his hands on the cash.

Judge Steven Coupland, sentencing Carlin on Wednesday, July 21, said that in 2018 and 2019 “you were thoroughly dishonest”.

He was employed by two companies as a payroll clerk and “each was a position of responsibility and that position was breached by you in terms of employment”.

He referred to the sophistication involved in what 40-year-old Carlin did to steal the money – at the first company where he started the scheme he was to try and then how he repeated it at the second business.

Carlin accessed the payroll system, at Reflex Labels Limited, and changed the bank details of employees and diverted parts of their salary to a series of accounts he ran and had access to.

Reflex Labels Limited in Mansfield
Reflex Labels Limited in Mansfield
(Image: Google Maps)

He took just over £55,000 he was not entitled to and, when that was discovered, he was pursued by a debt recovery company and he admitted what he had done and paid back the £9,000. The company was left £45,000 out of pocket.

“Despite being found out, interviewed by police, on bail or under investigation, you took another job doing the same role,” said Judge Coupland.

But on this occasion, Carlin failed to pass the probation period of his employment and was let go – but he used his access to the system and diverted more than £27,000 to himself in the same way.

“Thankfully, you were stopped before you received that money,” added the judge. “The second offence was committed after you were arrested on the first and on a suspended sentence order for other offences”.

At the time of his offending, Carlin had suffered mental health difficulties which he has since sought help for.

He was jailed concurrently on each charge for 26 months, of which he will serve half and the rest on licence and supervision for a further year.

A proceeds of crime mention hearing is set for October 8.

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Nottinghamshire Live – Local News