THE former general manager of an Uxbridge firm has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to 42 months in prison.

James Presswell, 60, was charged with six counts of fraud. Following a five week trial at Isleworth Crown Court, he was found guilty of all counts and sentenced on Monday.

From 2007-14, he worked for Wheelmasters in Uxbridge and dishonestly appropriated money from the company.

He had siphoned it from company accounts over the years, including £10,000 cash from the company director’s loan account in 2008.

Further analysis of the accounts identified discrepancies to the value of £132,350. He was found guilty of taking money from the company accounts.

In 2012, he increased his salary to £80,400 and in 2013 to £90,000. He also awarded Christmas bonuses to himself and his staff without the owner’s consent or knowledge.

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Presswell, of Bisley, near Woking, used company credit cards for personal spending and, with the use of the company Paypal account, was able to buy personal items  to the value of  £15,000.

These included five Mont Blanc pens, a diamond ring for £2,500, gates for his house and grocery shopping.

He leased a company car for his wife to use and set up monthly instalments of £330.94 to be paid through the company.

When the firm became aware of the transaction, it returned the car and had to pay a further £3,805.76 penalty for the early cancellation.

Det Con Stephen Rothwell said: “This complex investigation centered around a sophisticated framework set up by Presswell to embezzle cash and property from the company he worked for without the owner’s knowledge.”