THE former head of the UK tax advisory arm of Investec, the South African bank, was jailed for four years yesterday after siphoning off nearly £2 million from his employer in a prolonged tax fraud.
Nipan Malde, 43, pleaded guilty to defrauding Investec of £1.85 million through ten counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception between May 2000 and last October.
Anthony Arlidge, QC, for the defence, said Malde’s deception was motivated by a desire to create a new Hare Krishna temple for the Shree Shree Redha Krishna Centre, in South Norwood, London.
Some of the money was sent to religious institutions in India, where Malde often took pilgrimages to seek forgiveness for his crimes. Mr Arlidge said: “This was a man who wanted to try and raise considerable sums of money for this religious organisation. The group have a temple in a garden in South Norwood but this was not a site they could really be proud of. His own lifestyle was relatively simple — there was no question of extravagant living.”
Judge Nicholas Loraine- Smith said he was “far from being convinced” that the money was stolen principally to fund a new temple.
“The quality and degree of trust placed in you, the degree of time over which these offences were committed and the amounts stolen make this a very serious matter indeed.”
Malde gained the funds by instructing Investec subsidiary companies to send cheques to the Inland Revenue for larger sums than they owed. He then got the Revenue to refund the excess to his own business accounts.
Malde, who left India aged ten and studied at Canterbury University, lost his job last November when the fraud was revealed. Investec said that no client funds were involved and that it expected, in time, to recover the full amount.
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