Cumbria County Council 'conned' out of £581,000

Cumbria County Council was conned out of £581,000 by a someone claiming to be one of its suppliers, a report has revealed.

Staff were duped into switching contract payments into a different bank account in February, the audit committee report says.

The transaction emerged when the real supplier said it had not been paid.

A man was subsequently charged and a member of staff disciplined. The council recovered £460,000 of the cash.

'Swift action'

The latest incident is highlighted in report focussing on better ways of combating fraud.

Staff who received the request to change bank details should have contacted the supplier to verify the details but this was not done.

The incident comes two years after the authority was conned out of more than £100,000 by bosses of a waste firm who claimed to be dealing with more rubbish than they actually were.

Three company officials were eventually jailed.

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