If your business deals in valuable goods, dishonesty on the part of current or former employees is sadly a threat that cannot be ignored. However, as a High Court case showed, expert lawyers can move extremely fast to investigate such concerns and minimise your losses.
The case concerned a company that sourced high-value IT and other equipment for clients. It formed the view that a man who had until recently worked for it as a senior accounts manager was involved in a large-scale fraud. In the name of one of the company’s longstanding customers, he was said to have generated and processed 76 orders for 331 items that were delivered to the address of another man who was believed to be his brother.
Even before proceedings were formally issued, the company swiftly sought an interim injunction against both men. Due to concerns that, if put on the alert, they might take steps to dispose of relevant goods or disperse their assets, the order was applied for without advance notice being given to either man.
Granting the order sought, the Court noted that the company might or might not succeed in proving its case against the men at a full hearing. However, it had an apparently strong case against them. There was evidence that at least one of the items delivered had been sold on an internet auction site and there was reason to believe that, unless restrained, the alleged wrongdoing could continue.
The injunction froze the men’s assets up to a value of £300,000 each. It also forbade them from selling or otherwise disposing of relevant goods and required them to deliver up such goods to the company’s solicitors for safekeeping. The order permitted each of them to spend £750 a week on their ordinary living expenses and the Court emphasised that it remained open to them to apply to the Court for the order to be varied or discharged.