Northampton songwriter says she is a "survivor" after falling victim to fraudster accountant's crimes

A Northampton musician has described how she has come out a "survivor" after falling victim to a fraudster who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds of her money.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 9:35 am
Northampton's VV Brown was defrauded by Andrew Munday

Disgraced Northampton accountant Andrew Munday was jailed for five years and eight months yesterday for betraying the trust of dozens of clients and defrauding them of millions of pounds.

The 38-year-old's victims ranged business owners to international pop star Rita Ora, from who he skimmed some £2.4million.

But another of his high-profile targets was Northampton's-own Vanessa Brown, the indie singer-songwriter who wrote the 2009 chart hit single "Shark in the Water" as VV Brown.

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In a statement released earlier this year after Munday pleaded guilty, Mrs Brown said: "Thank goodness for indemnity insurance. It left me in good stead financially despite the crime. I went into this case pregnant. Two years later I came out of this maze pregnant again with my second baby, fighting, fit and alive.

"I am a survivor."

At Munday's sentencing at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (May 8), a victim impact statement from Mrs Brown was read out in court.

The artist told police: "Andrew Munday has ruined a lot of people's lives and stolen from us in more ways than money.

"To see someone just steal and live a lifestyle on the back of my hard work is more than wrong."

Mrs Brown employed Munday to manage her accounting between 2009 and 2016 while he worked at Blue Cube Business Ltd.

Over seven years, the fraudster used Mrs Brown's bank account to launder cash stolen from other clients and pocket more than £3.3million for himself.

The court heard how a grand total of £1.2million of this was spent on gambling alone.

This included asking VVBrown's estate to pay hoax tax costs directly by bank transfer - but which were really being sent to his own account.

It led to him defrauding some £463,000 from the singer-songwriter - and when she tried to reduce the accountant's involvement, he reportedly became "aggressive and controlling".

But Munday's offending did not just damage Mrs Brown's finances, but her sense of trust for years after.

She told police: "I hope justice is made and Andrew Munday is made an example of."

Since his arrest in 2016, Munday has had £1.2m of assets seized to recoup the costs of his crimes, including three houses he bought with the stolen millions.

Meanwhile, Blue Cube Business Ltd was forced to close and dozens of jobs were lost. His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo made special mention of how the business had "crashed and burned" and how leading partner John David Foster had "lost his reputation" as a result of the crimes.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story quoted the victim impact statement that was read out in court stating that the case had led to Mrs Brown leaving the music industry. We have been asked to make it clear that this is not the case and that Mrs Brown has just renewed a publishing deal, is recording a new album and has announced potential touring dates for next year. We are happy to clarify the situation.