A CONVICTED criminal who stole more than £441,000 from his former employers has been ordered to pay back over £225,000.
Viraj Patel, 34, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position.
Patel put fictitious invoices through the banking system of the company where he was finance manager to channel company funds into his own account.
The crime came to light when the Worcester Park-based British Asian left the organisation.
Patel was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment earlier this year at Guildford Crown Court.
Surrey Police financial investigator Steve Hayes was then able to step in and initiate the process of linking his assets to his crime, and going to court to confiscate those assets.
The force restrained his bank accounts, one of which alone had £149,000 in it.
Cash, watches and a gold bar were also seized, all of which were sold.
Surrey Police also worked with Patel’s family to sell his top-of-the-range BMW car.
Detective Inspector Matthew Durkin, Head of Surrey Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We were able to understand Patel’s financial activity in such great detail that there was no way he was going to get away with any of the money from his crime…”
“More importantly though, the confiscation order means that we have been able to compensate his victim, his former company,” he added.
The £225,000 has now been paid to the victims, Patel’s former employers, as compensation.