A manager in charge of detecting fraud Oxfam has admitted to doing just that – to the tune of £64,612 ($108,082.95). Edward McKenzie-Green, 34, of Oxfordshire, England, was Oxfam Great Britain’s head of counter-fraud when he submitted payments to fictitious firms between February and December 2011. He will be sentenced in May.
McKenzie-Green appeared at the Old Bailey, Great Britain’s Central Criminal Court, yesterday to plead guilty. He had originally pleaded not guilty this past July. The funds were deposited into accounts that included one in the name of McKenzie-Green’s father, Edward Green. The elder Green had been charged with money laundering, but the charge was dropped when McKenzie-Green pleaded guilty. Also dropped was a charge that McKenzie-Green stole a laptop from Oxfam in 2011.
McKenzie-Green was released on bail. Judge Timothy Pontius said, “Because of the amount of money involved and the circumstances in which the fraud was carried out, a prison sentence is a likelihood.”
According to published reports, McKenzie-Green had become hooked on prescription painkillers when he began defrauding Oxfam. “At the same time his marriage, which he was attempting to hold together, was failing,” said his lawyer, Matthew Sherratt. “He was putting money aside effectively in the expectation of losing his job.“
Prosecutor Adam King said McKenzie-Green used a fake name and set up fake companies for which he would submit invoices. “It was certainly carefully planned and real thought went into it,” said King.
“Oxfam uses donations from the British people to help eradicate poverty and suffering across the world. For someone to commit fraud and use that money for their own gains is clearly unacceptable,” said Oxfam Great Britain’s head of counter-fraud, Oliver May, via a statement. “The actions of Edward McKenzie-Green were brought to light by Oxfam’s own robust counter-fraud measures and we work tirelessly to ensure that money donated to Oxfam is not lost through the actions of rogue employees like McKenzie-Green. We will now work to try and recover the money taken.”