Accountant in £200k fraud at London Metal Exchange

Annmarie Norris, who worked her way up to become head of the accounting department at the London Metal Exchange (LME) despite not having a professional qualification, has been jailed for 32 months for a £200,000 fraud, which the court heard was facilitated by ‘extremely lax’ accounting practices

The trial at the Inner London Crown Court was told that 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 at her house in Welling, London, among other luxury items.

Norris, who joined the LME in 1997, was promoted to head accountant in 2011, earning £72,000 a year plus bonuses when she was dismissed in October 2015.

The fraudulent activity took place at the LME between December 2012 and July 2015 and amounted to £204,405. The prosecutor in the case suggested that ‘chaotic’ and ‘extremely lax’ accounting policies had meant it took a while for the losses to come to light. The court was told Norris’ annual salary at the time of the offences was around £103,000.

Norris will serve half of the 32-month sentence and will have to pay restitution, to be determined, to the LME.

The judicial officer presiding over the hearing described her actions as ‘nothing more than greed’, saying: ‘This was a systematic, prolonged and deliberate breach of trust at a well-paying, high-flying job.’

In a statement, LME said: ‘The LME has reviewed all its internal accounting processes and has put in place additional robust procedures to ensure the utmost security in financial administration.’

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