Couple defraud employer of £100K in expenses scam

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Sad news from the Old Bailey this week, where Fulbright Jaworski duo Richard Simkin and Zaki Sharif were found guilty of wheedling £100,000 out of their employers via a number of bogus expense claims and falsified invoices for recruitment agencies. (This looks like another good reason to hire direct instead of using recruitment third parties. Professionals in Law contract, anyone?)

The entrepreneurial married couple had Fulbright pay for holidays in Hong Kong and Mexico City. Sharif also claimed for skin treatment at a Harley Street clinic, Deschamps silk sheets, Smythson handbags and (no, don’t ask) a £2,400 signed photo of Muhammad Ali.

As the Evening Standard points out, the most entertaining aspect of the episode is the ease with which Zahir found another job after Fulbright gave her the elbow.

Sharif was hired in early 2005 based on claims that she had two law degrees from King’s College London. Three days after being sacked in 2008, she was hired by rival firm Holman Fenwick & Willan on a salary of £160,000 after again lying about her qualifications.

Prior to this, the Office Manager had been forced to make do on a measly wage of just £95K p.a.

Hubby Simkin has now been struck off as a solicitor – presumably why the pair claimed legal aid. AB

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