Former kbb retailer financial controller jailed for fraud

The former financial controller at Bathroom Village in Bristol jailed for over ten years at the end of April after defrauding the company of over £1m over several years.

Michael Kennedy Black, 56, siphoned the money off by paying money due to suppliers into bank accounts he’d set up on his own name

Black was jailed at Bristol Crown Court on April 22 for six years and nine months for one count of fraud; four years to run consecutively for a second count; and 21 months concurrently on a third charge.

The disappearing money eventually forced the company into a pre-pack administration, but it has since rebuilt itself into a thriving business.

Managing director Paul Mason, speaking on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast, said that they took Black on in 2008 but didn’t notice anything was wrong until 2016.

“We were growing quite substantially, business was really good but we were still hitting credit limits and going on stop with suppliers. The biggest eye-opener was when Michael went on holiday for two weeks and there was a small query. Normally he took a week’s holiday so we would’ve left things like that til he got back, but because he had two weeks we looked into it ourselves.

“And that opened up a can of worms. We realised there were payments that weren’t adding up.”

Mason said he was in the court when the sentence was passed, an experience he describes as very emotional.

“Until you’re in that situation, he hard to know how to describe it,” he said. “But I felt empty. Yes, a weight had been lifted, and there are always worries with running a business, but it felt that the worry we’d had for the last five years had just gone. It was strange that it felt that empty because that thing that had caused you so much worry and upset had just gone.”

  • You can hear the full story of Bathroom Village and the fraudster on the latest episode of The kbbreview Podcast. Simply click on the player below to listen in your browser now, or simply search ‘kbbreview’ in your podcast app of choice.
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