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Former Westminster council pensions boss found guilty of £1m fraud

A former employee of Westminster City Council has been found guilty of stealing nearly £1m from the council pension fund.

Ian Woodall, the former interim head of pensions and investments at the council, was yesterday convicted of one charge of fraud by abuse of position and a second charge of concealing criminal property at Southwark Crown Court.

Woodall was a contractor at the council for approximately three years and was responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the council’s £1bn pension fund.

He was a “trusted member” of the council with a “appropriate level of responsibility,” but he reportedly tricked colleagues into signing off payments from the £1bn pension fund by disguising them as investments.

Woodall was absent from the dock, as reported by the Financial Times Advisor, due to long term health issues as the jury unanimously convicted him of fraud.

He reportedly spent the money on buying cars, paying off tax bills and refurbishing his home after moving the money to overseas bank account and then back to the UK.

A spokesperson for Westminster City Council said: “This was a serious breach of the council’s trust from a senior employee, resulting in a detailed police investigation.

“This was a significant time ago. Since then we have changed our processes to make them even more robust and kept these under review.

“The fact we were able to pick this up and successfully prosecute is positive and we will now do all that we can to recoup this money through the courts.”

Woodall is due to be sentenced on 16 November.


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