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Last Updated: Monday, 29 November, 2004, 17:46 GMT
Accountant jailed over EU fraud
An accountant who admitted fraudulently claiming more than 63,000 in EU funds to help pay for his children's private school fees has been jailed.

Married father-of-two Alan Gick, 59, of Bosham Hoe, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft, forgery and false accounting.

Lewes Crown Court heard the fraud took place over a three-year period.

Jailing bankrupt Gick for 18 months, Judge Anthony Nibblet said it was "a deliberate and sophisticated fraud".

'Cheques forged'

The court heard Gick set up a business in the 90s which specialised in obtaining EU funds to assist joint ventures between businesses from EU member states and businesses from Eastern Europe.

He later made inflated grant claims relating to three firms and forged invoices and receipts in relation to research that never took place, the court was told.

The court heard how Gick - the son of the late Rear-Admiral Percy Gick OBE - tried to cover his tracks by forging and falsifying cheques, invoices and bank statements.

Gick was told by the judge only a custodial sentence was justified.

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