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Finance boss stole £2.4m from university over 30-year period

David Hall used his position as head of accounts at the University of Brighton to embezzle money. (SWNS)

A university worker who stole £2.4 million from his job over 30 years and spent the money on “fancy meals and holidays” has been jailed.

David Hall used his position as head of accounts at the University of Brighton, East Sussex, to embezzle funds over three decades and covered his tracks through fake entries.

Jailing the 64-year-old, a judge branded the scale of his fraudulent activity as “breathtaking”.

His Honor Judge Roger Chappell sentenced Hall to six years in prison at Hove Crown Court following a joint investigation by police and financial investigators.

David Hall was jailed at Hove Crown Court in East Sussex. (Getty)

Hall of Ringmer, East Sussex, had previously admitted charges of abuse of office, theft by an employee and fraud by false accounting.

The court heard that Hall abused his position as university head of income and payments and covered up his activities through fraudulent entries in university accounts.

The matter was reported to Sussex Police in November 2021 after university staff uncovered the fraudulent activity.

The university launched an independent financial investigation, which, along with a police investigation, exposed a complex string of financial cover-ups.

Hall told the court that his fraud began as a way to cover his personal debts.

However, Judge Chappell tells Hall that his actions were motivated by greed.

He told her: “The scale and breadth of your dishonesty over 30 years is breath-taking.

“This was systematic, persistent dishonesty that was causing stress, heartache and pressure on other employees.

“Where did you go? On vacation and fine dining.

Hall was jailed for six years for his crimes – a reduced sentence due to his conviction for his crimes at the earliest opportunity.

A confiscation order is also set to focus on Hall’s illegally obtained money, although the stolen money is unlikely to be fully recovered.

Rose Horan, an investigator with Sussex Police, said after sentencing: “The university’s impact statement classified the harm done, including its impact on fellow staff.


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