A fraudster working inside a City firm has been convicted after diverting funds for service providers into his own account.

Ian Burleton, 42 and from east London, worked as a revenue controller and over the course of 18 months he diverted 13 company payments coming to almost £32,000.

His employer, who has not been named, made a report to Action Fraud and it was passed to the City of London Police’s Fraud Squad to investigate.

Burleton, who pleaded guilty in September to one count of fraud by abuse of position, was sentenced on Monday at Southwark Crown Court to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He also received a 30-day rehabilitation order and 180 hours’ unpaid community work.

In his role, Burleton was responsible for setting up and scheduling payments to the firm’s service providers.

The company’s suspicions were initially raised after one of their service providers claimed they had not been paid for three consecutive months. An inspection of the banking records revealed that Burleton had changed the account details on the invoices for this service provider, and diverted three payments into his own bank account.

Burleton was then dismissed by the company and further investigation showed he had diverted an additional 10 payments to a second account in his name in an attempt to conceal the funds.

In his defence, Burleton said his offending was triggered by large child maintenance bills he needed to pay. But the City of London Police said analysis of his outgoing payments revealed evidence of him spending large sums of money on flights, holidays and at expensive bars and restaurants.

Detective Constable Simon Andrews, who led the investigation, said: ‘Burleton was a wholly deceitful person, abusing the trust put in him by his employer and exploiting his knowledge of their systems to manipulate those around him.’