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High street retailer manageress accused of refund fraud

We acted on behalf of a shop manageress who, it was alleged, had been carrying out cash refund frauds by making false claims.  The charges against her were based upon the stock records of the shop, which showed that there were discrepancies between the actual stock held and that which was shown on the computer records.  She maintained her innocence throughout.

Our investigation into the control procedures operated by the shop showed that staff knew each others passwords for the single cash till, there was movement of stock between various stores which was not properly recorded on the computerised stock system and the stock system indicated negative levels of stock; which had to be incorrect as the store either had stock or it didn’t.  It was our view that the stock records were unreliable and could not form the basis of a Prosecution.

The Prosecution disagreed and sought their own expert accountancy evidence.  Their expert agreed with our findings.  However, this was not disclosed until the morning of the trial.  The case was dismissed.

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