[Robert] Austin was a director of a company within the Mackintosh and Partners group, a timber firm based in Small Dole, near Brighton and in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, of which his father was the owner.
“Austin stole £2.6m from the group of companies between 2002 and 2008, falsifying records required for accounting purposes in order to do so,” said detective constable Dan Clark of the Sussex Police major fraud unit.
The firm went into liquidation as a direct result of the losses. It was an otherwise profitable company which had successfully traded for some 70 years.
The company had been one of southern England’s leading manufacturers of planed and moulded timber.