Garry Hacker, of Hove, East Sussex, and a former insolvency partner at Chantrey Vellacott, admitted to misappropriation of funds between July 18 2001 and January 13 2010.
Hacker was an affiliate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and his insolvency licence was issued and regulated by the body.
At a disciplinary tribunal hearing overseen by the ICAEW, it was found that Hacker transferred money from insolvency estate accounts and client accounts to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS); an individual described as ‘Mrs A’; a GE Capital credit card of Hacker’s former domestic partner and Barclaycard.
A statement summarising the tribunal said the conduct of Hacker was “at the most serious end of breaches.”
It added: “The dishonesty of a chartered accountant is always a grave matter.”
The tribunal ordered his affiliate status to be removed. It also recommended that he should be banned from applying for affiliate status of the ICAEW for 10 years.
Tribunal documents show that Hacker’s conduct first raised questions in February 2010 at Chantrey Vellacott, when a cheque was paid into a client account. A few days later a cheque was issued from that account made payable to RBS.
A cashier raised the issue and subsequently, a partner reviewed all transactions where the payee was RBS. Unusual payments had also been made to ‘Mrs A’, the GE Capital credit card and Barclaycard.
On March 22 2010 partners at Chantrey Vellacott met with Hacker to discuss the payments. In this meeting Hacker admitted to stealing the money.
The tribunal summary states: “The admissions made by Mr Hacker in his meeting with the partners… clearly identify that he was aware that his conduct was dishonest and that that is why he sought to conceal it over the years.”
Sums of £198,322 were traced to Hacker’s personal accounts and payments to ‘Mrs A’.
But when Chantrey Vellacott reviewed Hacker’s personal bank statements, it identified a further £38,185 that was remitted from insolvency estates, with another £1,500 remitted from one particular estate described as ‘Z’.
This meant total missing sums of £238,007 had been identified, but the tribunal only looked at the £198,000 because of “clear evidence” of misappropriation of these amounts.
The tribunal found the complaint proven on the defendant’s own admission. Hacker also advised the tribunal that he was a single parent bringing up two children following a breakdown in his relationship with their mother. This affected him financially and he was struggling to service debts.
Hacker was declared bankrupt in August last year.