Earlier this month, Paul Fitzsimmons, a former facilities manager at the UK outpost of Cleary Gottlieb, was sentenced for his role in a scheme to steal funds from the firm. Fitzsimmons, along with his partner, Toby Britton, a company director of a vendor to the firm, managed to net more than £1 million — that’s $1,216,405 — over the course of three years.
As noted in a statement from the City of London police, Fitzsimmons reportedly used the stolen funds “to fuel an extravagant lavish lifestyle for him and his partner” which included “high-end performance cars, luxury furniture and designer clothes.”
RollOnFriday has additional details on how Fitzsimmons was caught:
Evidence from the trial revealed that the pair set up fake companies with different directors listed to “make the trail less obvious and to leave as little digital footprint as possible”. Invoices were then paid for work that had not been carried out, as Fitzsimmons and Britton duped the US firm to the tune of over £1 million.
The two were finally busted in 2018 when Cleary’s finance team became suspicious – an investigation company was hired to comb through the accounts, and uncovered the dodgy transactions. Police arrested the pair.
Fitzsimmons began working at the firm in the late 1990s. Cleary offered this statement on the matter:
“The firm uncovered the matter as part of its monitoring and oversight processes in 2018, and immediately reported it to the police and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We would like to thank the police for their hard work and professionalism throughout this long running case.”
Fitzsimmons was sentenced to six years in jail, while Britton received a four-year sentence.
Cleary manager jailed for stealing £1m [RollOnFriday]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter and Threads or connect with her on LinkedIn.