Market boss from Romford jailed over �360,000 fraud

A crooked market boss from Romford who stole �360,000 from his employers to pay for his mortgage and credit card debts has been jailed.

Frank Curcio, 55, stole the cash by forging receipts with tip-ex as he ran Barking Market in a “gross breach of trust” that went on for seven years.

Curcio, of Caxton Way, was jailed for 33 months on Thursday of last week (July 12) at Snaresbrook Crown Court after admitting theft from his employers Charfleets Ltd, which runs the market in East Street.

Judge Simon Wilkinson told him: “This was a grave offence. This theft represents a gross breach of trust.

“You were not just an employee of the victim’s company, you were a manager and responsible for the day-to-day management of Barking Market.

“Your employer was in a partnership with the London borough of Barking and Dagenham. Your dishonest conduct has impacted on the reputation of the company.”

The court heard that Charfleets Ltd had already repaid the council around �90,000 of the cash Curcio stole.

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The market management company paid Curcio more than �50,000 a year but the court heard he was made bankrupt at a separate hearing at Romford County Court.

His solicitor, Gary Ryan, told the court he had racked up more than �100,000 of debts after his two previous business ventures ran into difficulty, then struggled to pay “significant personal debt” including credit cards and mortgage payments.

Mr Ryan said: “He is very clearly deeply concerned about the shame he has brought upon him and his family.

“This has clearly placed a considerable amount of stress on him and his wife.

“He has had these proceedings hanging over his head for two years. He has been made bankrupt. He is unlikely to be able to work again.”

The court heard the fraud ran from 2004 and was finally uncovered in spring 2010.

Speaking after the hearing, Charfleets director Frank Nash, 52, said: “All of us felt very let down by Mr Curcio who had worked for the company for over 10 years.

“He was regarded as a trusted and well rewarded colleague, only to find he was working independently to steal vast amounts of money.

“We have agreed to reimburse the local authority in full the amounts lost by themselves.

“We remain committed to delivering the highest standards of markets in Essex.”