Policeman from Sussex, UK pleads guilty to fraud over lost and found money

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Peter Yeats, who until his arrest in September was a sergeant with Sussex Police in England, UK, entered a plea of guilty on Monday to fraud by false representation. The charge related to lost and found cash that a member of the public had handed in to the police after discovering it on a bridle path.

Yeats was on duty in Hastings on July 19 this year when Lewes Police Station was given the plastic bag of money, totalling £3,500 in £20 notes. He used a police computer to read about the find on an incident database and rang his own force three times using the name “Kirk Rose”. He told officers he was from Cornwall and his wife had lost around £3,000 in the area the previous day.

Police launched an investigation into the veracity of these claims as they felt the condition of the money was so poor that it been left in the open for much longer. The calls were traced to Yeats’s police-issued mobile. He was found to have researched the location of the loss and created a false address for himself.

Yeats, who resigned from the police after being arrested, was charged under the Fraud Act 2006. Brighton Magistrates’ Court decided its sentencing powers were insufficient to mark the gravity of the offence and so remanded him in custody to be sentenced at a later date by a judge at Lewes Crown Court. Brian Noel, defending, described the incident as “a crazy five minutes.”

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