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Jersey insurance firm upgrading protection after £3m fraud

A Jersey insurance firm defrauded of £3.3m has launched new measures to "minimise" future financial risk.

Jersey Mutual's former manager Roy Jeanne and accomplice Michael John Timms were both jailed in January.

A court has now ordered them to repay a portion of the funds they stole, in part through liquidation of their assets. The firm said the theft "never jeopardised the society's financial stability".

Nor did it lead to "any member suffering any losses of benefit", it said. It added that it was "nonetheless obliged to pursue recovery of the funds that rightfully belong to the society" and it had taken "appropriate action to minimise any possibility that this could happen again".

Jeanne has since been required by a confiscation order to pay £511,323.06, while Timms must pay £144,870.50 plus £10,000 costs, the Royal Court of Jersey said.

The court heard how Jeanne, who was general manager, treated the firm as his "own personal credit facility".

He formed a "corrupt relationship" with Timms to continue stealing money from the company.

Jeanne pleaded guilty to seven offences, including larceny, falsification of accounts, removal of criminal property and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Timms pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Sentencing, Commissioner John Saunders said it was hard to imagine "a greater breach of trust".

They now had 12 months to gather the funds, including through liquidation of their assets, the firm said.

Failure to do so would lead to an extra three-and-a-half years in prison for Jeanne and two years for Mr Timms, it added.

'Deep regrets'

Jersey Mutual said the Royal Court's order for confiscation of assets from Jeanne and Timms was a "step towards rectifying the misdeeds the two men committed". It added: "The society recognises, and deeply regrets, that Mr Jeanne was able to misuse his authority to defraud the society, in collaboration with Mr Timms."

"Since the fraud was uncovered, we have taken appropriate action to minimise any possibility that this could happen again." It said its compliance and governance and accounting functions had been subject to independent third-party reviews. Recommendations had been "fully adopted" and "integrated into policies and procedures" it said.


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