Morning Coffee: The 29 year-old accountant and the $116k taxi rides. Conference calls on paternity leave

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Morning Coffee: The 29 year-old accountant and the $116k taxi rides. Conference calls on paternity leave

Have you ever felt you might be over-claiming on expenses? - Like the Dean of the London Business School, who earns £501k ($645k) a year but put in a claim for a bag of crisps (potato chips if you're in America)? - Or the Deutsche M&A bankers who were rumored to have racked up €22m in expenses (including one in particular who's said to have taken some pretty wild taxi rides)? Fear not: your spending is probably quite innocuous alongside the real expense offenders.

The latest of these is Gurgyan Kaley, a 29 year-old manager in the real estate tax team at Deloitte in London who went on an expenses spree over a three-year period, culminating in a period of particularly intense expense submissions which finally attracted attention to his profligacy.

Between April 2016 and September 2018, Kaley submitted 1,114 Uber receipts for a total of £92k/$116k, (£82 a ride on average). In the seven weeks to September 2018 alone, Kaley submitted 328 receipts for £7,748 (£24 a ride). The distance travelled was going down, but Kaley's Uber habit seemed to be going up and Deloitte finally spotted something strange.

In fact, Kaley wasn't taking taxis at all. Somewhat tragically, he had become addicted to gambling and was using fraudlent Uber receipts to supplement his income. He was arrested at work and this week pleaded to guilty to two counts of fraud. He now has a two-year suspended prison sentence and has been commanded to repay £75k to Deloitte within 12 months, under threat of being jailed for 21 months if he doesn't.

To the extent that there's a moral here, it's probably 'don't get addicted to gambling,' and if you do, seek help.  However, the whole affair also raises queries about Deloitte's seemingly lax expenses system. The Evening Standard reported that the professional services firm mostly rubber-stamped Kaley's Uber claims and only noticed that something was up when their frequency intensified in the final seven weeks. Maybe people at Deloitte take a lot of taxis in the course of their work? Or maybe Deloitte - given that it's an accounting firm - should tighten its systems? 

Kaley is now getting help for his addiction and will sadly never work in accounting again. He's reportedly cashing-in his pension to pay the fine. 

Separately, as a new generation becomes parents there are increasing calls for companies to go easy on new fathers. Bloomberg has a long piece about the horrors of early paternity in finance, which include a need to be reachable and available for conference calls even when you're only taking 10 days off, and an expectation that you'll be back at work in the afternoon after your wife gave birth in the morning. 

Meanwhile:

Citi is offering 3,500 of its Canary Wharf staff the chance to take a five-week sabbatical. MDs have been doing it already - one climbed Everest (along with everyone else) during his. (Financial News) 

Women working for HSBC Holdings in the UK were paid 70% less than men last year. This was better than the year before, when they were paid 85% less. (Bloomberg)

UK equity capital markets bankers against Brexit; IPOs are at a 10 year low. (Financial News) 

Goldman Sachs doesn't seem to want complaints about its Marcus retail bank to go public. (New York Post) 

Goldman Sachs' head of public relations Michael Duvally is transitioning to a woman called Maeve. She says the firm is being very supportive. (Fox) 

Bank of America wants to move more of its New York staff into a new midtown hub. (Bloomberg) 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance. Whatsapp/Signal/Telegram also available.

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