Former E.ON employee ‘fully messed up’ after £70,000 fraud exposed

E.ON's offices in Nottingham

A customer service advisor who stole almost £70,000 from her employer and sent it to seven others in order to launder the proceeds from her crime has been sentenced.

Gina Rani used her position at E.ON to facilitate a series of refunds that she paid to family members and friends who in return refunded some of the money to her.

Police launched an investigation after E.ON reported £69,844 had been issued as false refunds by Rani between October 2016 and March 2021.

The company told detectives it had uncovered evidence that indicated Rani, aged 36, had abused her position in order to create the false refunds, which she passed onto friends and family in the form of cheques.

The police investigation found Rani had made changes to the E.ON systems in order to process the fraudulent refunds.

She attended a voluntary police interview in which she confessed to her offending, adding that she had “fully messed up”.

She admitted processing refunds totalling £69,844 and that the amount of money deposited back into her own account was approximately £24,000.

Rani, of Lamcote Street, The Meadows, was charged and put before Nottingham Crown Court, where she pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and acquiring/using/possessing criminal property

She appeared at the court for sentencing and was jailed for two years, suspended for two years.

She appeared alongside her seven co-defendants, who all live in Nottingham and each pleaded guilty to acquiring / using / possessing criminal property. They were sentenced as follows:

– Azim Aroon, 35, of Stotfield Road, Wollaton – given a community order comprising 120 hours unpaid work;
– Ryan Aziz, 35, of HMP Nottingham – jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years;
– Paula Fryer, 56, of Woodfield Road, Broxtowe Estate – jailed for 9 months, suspended for 18 months;
– Kirpal Kaur, 62, of Parkdale Road, Bakersfield – jailed for 9 months, suspended for 18 months;
– Shauna Kemp, 22, of Woodfield Road, Broxtowe Estate – discharged conditionally for 12 months;
– Mark Thompson, 36, of Minver Crescent, Aspley – jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years;
– Aisha Xavia, 40, of Eltham Drive, Cinderhill – jailed for 12 months, suspended for two years.

Following the sentencings, Detective Constable Akil Kapasi, of Nottinghamshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Rani was a trusted employee but she abused her position by manipulating company systems for her own gain and committing fraud.

“She was not alone in this enterprise. Indeed, seven others were heavily involved and I am pleased they, too, have been dealt with by the courts.

“I hope this case sends a clear message to those who believe they can break the law for their own financial gain that offences will be uncovered and you will be brought before the courts to answer to your crimes.”

An E.ON spokesperson added: “Acting in the best interests of our customers is of paramount importance and we took immediate action and worked with the relevant authorities to ensure this matter was handled as swiftly as possible.”