William Eichler 16 October 2018

Council employee convicted of £1m pension fund fraud

Council employee convicted of £1m pension fund fraud image

A former Westminster City Council employee has been convicted for defrauding the council pension fund of nearly £1m.

Ian Woodall, who was the council’s interim head of pensions and investments for three years, has been found guilty of a charge of fraud by abuse of position and a second charge of concealing criminal property.

Mr Woodall was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the council’s pension fund, including liaison with the authority’s bankers on payments to be made and investments received.

A discrepancy in the fund for 2010/11 and 2011/12 was identified by internal auditors who were not satisfied that four payments totalling just over £900,000 were legitimate. A full investigation was launched in 2013.

A Westminster council spokesperson said the investigation took a long time because the police had to trace the payments from the council’s pension fund through a number of foreign bank accounts.

‘This was a serious breach of the council’s trust from a senior employee, resulting in a detailed police investigation,’ said the spokesman.

‘This was a significant time ago. Since then we have changed our processes to make them even more robust and kept these under review.

‘The fact we were able to pick this up and successfully prosecute is positive and we will now do all that we can to recoup this money through the courts.’

Vicarious liability image

Vicarious liability

Helen Snow, senior associate in the employment team at Geldards LLP, looks at how to mitigate against the rogue employee.
Highways jobs

Chief Planning Officer

Leeds City Council
Up to £106k
Leeds is a city that’s brimming with confidence. Leeds, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Leeds City Council

Senior Revenues Specialist

Eastleigh Borough Council
£39,700 - £42,044
If you are excited by this opportunity and feel you have the skills, experience and attitude we are looking for, we would love to hear from you. Eastleigh, Hampshire
Recuriter: Eastleigh Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer WCC10676

Westminster City Council
£33,759 - £47,274 per annum
As an Environmental Health Officer in Food Safety or Health and Safety, you will be responsible for... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council

Children's Services Social Worker - ASYE Programme

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£28,215 - £34,130
You’ll need to demonstrate an interest in working with children and their families, and show us that you can manage the... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Property and Facilities

Essex County Council
Up to £74K
This role is part of the Capital Investment and Delivery leadership team and has a key role to play in shaping and... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine