Worker for Northampton agency claimed he was not being paid ‘granted himself a pay increase’

Northampton Magistrates' Court
Northampton Magistrates' Court

A digger driver who felt his Northampton recruitment agency was not paying him enough took matters into his own hands by claiming hundreds of hours on his time sheet when he was not at work.

Cristian Bereda pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud for submitting false hours while employed at building sites across the UK, when he appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The 31-year-old was employed through Market Square-based agency Norse Recruitment Limited in 2014.

But between May and September of that year, Bereda submitted false time sheets, claiming he had worked for hundreds of hours more than he had.

During that time, Mark Williams, prosecuting, said the defendant claimed for 212 hours of work at a Bedford building site when he was not on site.

In total, the Crown Prosecution Service claim Bereda, from Enfield, defrauded companies of £17,000 between May and September 2014, while working at sites in Northamptonshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Southampton.

While the defendant pleaded guilty to the fraud charges in principle, he claimed the amounts were “exaggerated”.

Representing himself in court he said the amount was more likely to be around £8,000.

Mr Williams, prosecuting, said: “He was aggrieved with the company and felt they were underpaying him, so he effectively granted himself a pay increase.”

Magistrates sent the matter to Northampton Court for sentencing on January 27.

Bereda, who had no previous convictions, said he was sorry for what he had done, adding that he would be willing to pay the money back to his employers.