Employment agency boss helped steal £280,000 from cash-strapped Newham Council

16:57 11 January 2013

A “greedy” staffing agency boss who took part in a sophisticated plot to steal more than £280,000 from cash-strapped Newham Council was jailed for two years today (Friday).

Kerry Butler, 47, was one of a gang of fraudsters led by her brother-in-law, Youth Offending Team boss Peter Nicholson OBE, who claimed wages for workers who didn’t exist.

The mum-of-one swindled almost £80,000 after submitting false time sheets and invoices for two fictitious employees at her job agency, Capability, which provided the council with staff.

Butler, of Leatherbottle Green, Erith, had been cleared of a single count of money laundering last summer, but was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud following a retrial in December 2012.

Sentencing her earlier at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Neil Sanders said: “There was no particular financial pressure on you and this was purely greed.

“Taking all matters into account, I consider this is so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Her brother-in-law, Nicholson, who was responsible for the rehabilitation of young criminals, authorised the payments and arranged luxury holidays at the authority’s expense, the court heard.

The 58-year-old, of Devonshire Road, Bexleyheath, was also involved in a number of other cons and a total of £281,771.90 was stolen between May 20, 2000, and August 31, 2007.

Nicholson was jailed for five and a half years for conspiracy to defraud during the trial last year, while two other men – a finance officer who ran another staffing agency and the boss of a construction firm - were also put behind bars.

Latest Newham News Stories

48 minutes ago

Seven men have been arrested after riot police were forced to enter the London Stadium during fighting between West Ham and Chelsea fans.


Two men have been questioned over a suspected ‘chemical incident’ which caused London City Airport to be evacuated.


Two hit-and-run victims who suffered life-changing injuries have accused police of “fobbing” them off.

Metropolitan Police
21 minutes ago

A teenager will appear in court this morning charged with making or possessing an explosive substance following the discovery of a ‘suspicious package’ on a Tube.


Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Show Job Lists


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Read more

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now