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Nine people have been charged with a total of 60 counts of fraud relating to allegations made against staff at the Action for Employment (A4e) recruitment agency while they were contracted by the government, according to itv.com.
A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service reads: “It is alleged that they forged documentation to support fraudulent claims to the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) for reward payments which, under the terms of the contract, were paid out when the scheme successfully placed individuals in employment.”
The claims date from between February 2009 and February 2013, and those charged include one contract manager, seven recruiters, and an administrator. The nine people will appear before magistrates on 14 October 2013.
A4e advised on their website that the investigation by Thames Valley Police relates to alleged incidents, which date back to 2009 and were uncovered by A4e’s own internal controls. They also advise that they themselves referred the matter to the DWP, which in turn referred the matter on to the police.
A4e added that the incidents all relate to old paper-based contracts, which used systems that have since been replaced. A4e is fully co-operating with the police to ensure that the investigation can be concluded quickly and are unable to comment further.
Andrew Dutton, CEO of A4e, said in a statement: “There is no place for dishonesty or wrongdoing at A4e, which is the most rigorously audited company it its sector. I will feel exceptionally disappointed if it turns out that a few people have let down the many hardworking and dedicated people that work for A4e throughout our company”
Founded in 1991, the UK-based recruitment firm also operates in Poland, Australia, France, Spain, and India.