Former Ince & Co partner jailed for £3m fraud

Former Ince & Co partner Nathan ‘Andy’ Iyer has been jailed for four years and eight months after being convicted of forgery and false accounting.

Iyer was sentenced to four years for false accounting and eight months for two charges of forgery.

Iyer, who was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) last February (7 February 2012) admitted charges that he stole £3m from his firm and from clients. The tribunal heard how the former lawyer, who is now bankrupt, set up three entities that he held out as commercial organisations, but which carried out no activities. In the course of client work, Iyer would raise fictitious invoices in the name of the companies and would then submit the claims to Ince as expenses or disbursements. He would then deceive the firm’s accounts department into paying those amounts to his sham companies.

A spreadsheet prepared by Ince contained some 400 fraudulent invoices made by Iyer, who was found to have taken around £2.8m in total – £2.5m of which was taken from clients and £283,000 taken from the firm.

Ince first reported its former energy and offshore global head to the SRA in 2010 after suspending the partner over “irregular financial behaviour” (30 July 2010). Scotland Yard was called in the following May (27 May 2011).

In a statement released today the firm said: “The history of Andrew Iyer’s case is well recorded and we have nothing further to add. We reported this matter immediately to the police and the SRA when it was uncovered in July 2010.

“The clients affected have been reimbursed and we are grateful that all of them continue to support us today. As far as the crime against the firm and our clients is concerned, the prosecution and sentencing were expected and the process is now complete.”

The former partner was a one-time crime writer who penned thriller The Betrayed in 2007 (8 October 2007).