Former Leeds Grand Theatre finance head has pension seized after he stole £200,000 from taxpayers

The former head of finance at Leeds Grand Theatre has had his pension seized in order to recover almost £200,000 he stole from the taxpayer in a fraud conspiracy.

Peter Alp was head of finance at the Leeds Grand Theatre
Peter Alp was head of finance at the Leeds Grand Theatre

Crooked accountant Peter Alp is serving a five-year prison sentence after he abused his position to fleece the public purse in a “shameful and despicable” deception.

Alp was jailed in October 2016 after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A jury heard how he would enter fake invoices before arranging for money to be sent to a friend’s bank account then splitting the cash with him.

Alp was an employee of Leeds City Council when the offending took place between 2011 and 2013.

The 55-year-old was returned to Leeds Crown Court for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard Alp and his accomplice, Dean Oates, had each benefited by £195,412 as a result of the offending.

Leeds City Council have used powers to seize Alp’s pension of £189,000 to help recover the figure.

The court heard that it left a shortfall of £6,146, but Alp, originally from Harrogate and now of Minster Drive, Herne Bay, Kent, still has assets of £224,800.

That figure is made up from the value of his house, his car and money in his bank account. Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, ordered Alp pay to the sum of £6,146 within three months or face a further four months in prison.

The judge said that the sum would be paid as compensation to Leeds City Council, meaning that the money Alp had taken from the taxpayer would be re-paid in full.

The court heard Oates, of Lime Bar Lane, York, had just £25 in available assets.

He was ordered to pay the amount or face seven days in jail.

Oates pleaded guilty to the fraud conspiracy and served a 16-month sentence.

Oates gave evidence against which helped to convict Alp at the trial.