A subcontractor has been jailed for 18 months for submitting bogus invoices worth £36,000 to a company building sets at a Welsh TV and film studio.
Liam Pattison, 34, of New Zealand Road in Heath, Cardiff, was employed at Dragon Studios for a week in summer 2019 on the set of Brave New World, a short-lived TV series based on Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel.
Pattison was one of 150 subcontractors drafted in to prepare the set at the Bridgend-based studio by 4Wood TV and Film, but continued to claim for work long after being told his services were no longer required.
Joshua Scouller, prosecuting, said many of those employed by 4Wood had been recruited through social media or word of mouth, and “not a great deal of due diligence was done in respect of payment of invoices”.
He said the company’s bookkeeper had paid invoices on the basis they were genuine unless there were any obvious abnormalities.
Pattison submitted 27 false invoices from June 2019 to January 2020, Cardiff Crown Court heard on Monday.
His fraud was finally spotted when he continued to claim for seven-day weeks and double time on a Sunday, despite the fact the amount of work available had dropped off considerably.
Bosses at the company also found that his car had not been to the studios since June 2019.
The court heard Pattison submitted invoices worth £36,000, although only £33,120 was paid out.
4Wood said the fraud had made it tougher to weather the pandemic, and forced it to make more redundancies.
Pattison admitted fraud by false representation.
He has previous convictions for robbery, criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon and sexual assault, the court heard.
Lucy Crowther, for Pattison, said he had been struggling with alcohol and cocaine abuse at the time of the offending, but has moved back in with his father and got his addictions under control.
She said he felt shame and remorse for his actions, and had admitted his guilt at the earliest opportunity.
Jailing him for 18 months, Judge Tim Petts told Pattison the fraud had caused “considerable stress and anxiety” to 4Wood as they faced the first lockdown.
Brave New World aired on US streaming service Peacock but was cancelled after one season.