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Former Shift F7 sales exec in the dock over frauds

Microscope contributor

A former sales executive at Shift F7 stole £47,000 worth of computer kit from the Surrey-based reseller to fund his drug use, Guildford Crown Court has heard.

Ferenc Kormos, a 35-year old from Dorking - the town where Shift F7 is based - today admitted five counts of fraud by abuse of position, according to news website Get Surrey.

Prosecutor Rachael Monagham said his scams emerged after the reseller was called by a customer that queried an invoice for 46 laptops and two digital cameras that it had not ordered or received.

"The defendant had dealt with all those orders," she said.

Kormos faked orders and confirmation emails from clients, sent them to the purchasing department, and then changed the delivery options from "direct" to "collect".

The frauds started in October 2009, some 13 months after Kormos jonied the sales team at Shift F7, and continued until December that year when he was challenged by directors who became aware of the scams and dismissed him. 

He created 13 false orders from one client valued at over £34,000; six orders from another for 26 laptops worth £9,288; two laptops worth over £2,000 and a £618 plasma; and on one occasion he picked up and stole two laptops worth £778 which a customer wished to return.

Monagham said Kormos sold "at least" twenty of the 77 PCs he stole to a second-hand shop called Aladdin's Cave, telling the store it was excess stock.

"The defendant was arrested on January 29 this year. He gave full admissions to the offences. He explained he had a drug and gambling habit," she said.

Defence barrister, Philip Blunden said his client accepted "Shift F7 suffered direct financial losses. He accepts the company is out of pocket," but that at the time was more concerned with his own issues.

The court heard that stresses at work led Kormos - who has two previous convictions for possessing drugs and one for drink driving - to consume £200 to £250 worth of cocaine each day and that he fell into debt with a dealer who was threatening him.

However, Judge Peter Moss said the evidence presented by the defence was like "the bare bones of a novel without any flesh" and postponed sentencing until 11 October to allow for more information to be provided. 

Kormos has been remanded in custody.

Shift F7 was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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