Wiltshire

Finance manager sentenced for Friends Provident fraud

Paul Wood
Image caption Paul Wood had a lavish lifestyle including a chalet in the French Alps

A Wiltshire financial manager has been sentenced to three years in jail for swindling a life assurance firm out of more than £2m.

Paul Wood, 48, from South Wraxall, near Bradford-on-Avon, admitted eight charges of fraud at an earlier hearing at Swindon Crown Court.

He used the money taken from Friends Provident to fund a lavish lifestyle including a chalet in the French Alps.

The judge said Wood's sole motivation was greed.

Backdated the clock

The fraud took place between 2005 and 2009.

The court heard that Wood had developed a fraud system akin to placing a bet after a race had been run.

The hearing was told he had a self-managed investment bond with Friends Provident and used a fax machine to send instructions to the company to switch units within the policies.

He backdated the clock on the fax machine, meaning he could take advantage of rising markets, the court heard.

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