UK: LME accounting ‘lax’, court hears, as fraud sentence handed down

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Accounting practices at the London Metal Exchange (LME) were “extremely lax”, a court heard on Tuesday, as a former accountant was sentenced to 32 months in prison for using LME credit cards to pay for luxury holidays and home improvements.

Annmarie Norris worked her way up at the LME, the world’s biggest market for industrial metals, to head the accounting department even though she was not a professionally trained accountant, the Inner London Crown Court heard.

When the fraud was uncovered in 2015, Norris admitted using seven LME credit cards and withdrawing cash to pay for a Caribbean cruise, a Greek holiday, dental work, a new kitchen and decking for her garden, among other things.

It took time to unravel the fraudulent activity, which totalled 204,405 pounds, because accounting practices at the 140-year-old LME were “extremely lax” and its accounts were “chaotic”, prosecutor Denis Barry told the court.

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