Finance boss who stole £2m from Brighton University says he spent it on ‘lots of lovely things’ including holidays and fine dining as he is jailed for six years
- David Hall, 64, stole over £2m from Brighton Uni and covered it up over 30 years
A university finance boss who stole more than £2 million blew the money on ‘lots of lovely things’ including holidays and fine dining, he said in court.
David Hall, 64, took money from Brighton University and covered it up over 30 years – and he has now been jailed for six years.
Before he was jailed, Hall was asked what he spent the money on.
‘Lots of lovely things,’ he said.
Lewes Crown Court in Hove heard he spent the university money on holidays and fine dining.
David Hall (pictured), 64, took £2million from Brighton University and covered it up over 30 years
Brazen Hall was on holiday in France when Brighton University contacted him about their missing millions.
He covered up his crimes making fraudulent entries into university accounts.
After the university reported the crime in November 2021, police uncovered a series of complex financial cover-ups carried out by Hall spanning a period of 30 years.
Sussex Police said the case required ‘forensic scrutiny’.
An investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the exact amount stolen.
The court heard that Hall, of Ringmer, East Sussex admitted his crimes when confronted by the university via email and said: ‘I guess I should have come clean sooner.
‘I’m going to jail,’ he said.
Hall was arrested when he landed back in the UK and he has now been jailed for six years.
An impact statement from the university described the impact on staff, finances, reputation and student experience.
Staff in the finance department had been put under extra pressure and workload in the wake of the investigation.
It described the feeling of fear staff felt and an ‘atmosphere of suspicion’, with some unable to sleep.
The university expressed its concern over how the case has affected its reputation and what this will mean for future funding streams.
A confiscation process to recoup some of the money will start later this year.
Before he was jailed, Hall (pictured) was asked what he spent the money on. ‘Lots of lovely things,’ he said.
Hall’s defence Tom Nicholson-Pratt said Hall had come from an impoverished background and grew up with bailiffs knocking on the door.
He said that fear had remained.
Mr Nicholson-Pratt said Hall’s debts began to grow when he got married and that he used a lot of credit cards.
He said Hall had spent the money on fine dining and holidays.
He said Hall did not have a criminal record, had been honest about his crimes once confronted and should be considered of good character.
Judge Rodger Chapple said: ‘Can I really give him the credit of good character when he’s been acting dishonestly for 30 years?’
Mr Nicholson-Pratt said Hall wanted to apologise to his family, his university colleagues and to the students who ‘he knew he has let down so terribly’.
Mr Nicholson-Pratt said he wanted to help fellow prisoners with their education.
Summing up, Judge Chapple said: ‘ The scale and breadth of your dishonesty over 30 years is breathtaking.’
He described the ‘enormous damage’ done to the university through his ‘systematic dishonesty’ and the ‘heartache and pressure’ felt by his colleagues.
Hall, who pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, theft by an employee and false accounting at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on February 16, was jailed at Hove Crown Court today when he appeared for sentencing.
Judge Chapple said he had considered Hall’s guilty plea and his co-operation with the investigation in his sentence.
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