Taplow site manager set up fake company to pay himself thousands of pounds – and spent it on holidays

A site manager who was supposed to oversee the development of a luxury property in Taplow set up a fake company to gain more than £51,000 – which he splashed out on holidays and days out.

Terry Playford-Smith was a site manager overseeing the development of a new property in Hitcham Lane in Taplow that was expected to reach a value of more than £4.5 million, but scammed his employer out of tens of thousands of pounds.

Between August 2018 and September 2019, Playford-Smith was provided with cash for plumbing and heating works by his employer, but he instead set up a fake company, pretended to be the owner, and said they would be carrying out the works instead.

More than £51,000 was paid into an account controlled by Playford-Smith and he was also personally given more than £6,000 to carry out landscaping work.

He did not finish most of the work and what work he did carry out was sub-standard.

Playford-Smith used the cash that was paid to him and his fake company to splash out on holidays, shopping and days out.

At Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday, August 27, Playford-Smith, of no fixed address, was jailed for three years for fraud.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Arshid Ali, based at Maidenhead police station, said: “Playford-Smith was in a position of trust at a site where he was expected to oversee the development of a luxury property.

“He was trusted to be in charge in the absence of senior management, however he abused this trust in a calculated manner evidenced by the setting up of a fake company, receiving money from his employer into accounts controlled by himself, money which he then spent on himself.

“His actions resulted in a significant delay for the company in completing the work and incurring tens of thousands of pounds in fees and additional costs to check and repair any of the work overseen by Playford-Smith.

“He will now serve a custodial sentence for his actions.”

Slough Observer | News