ENTERTAINMENT

'Dragons' Den' Stars Peter Jones And Theo Paphitis Conned Out Of £33,000 By Corrupt Employee

The accountant was forging cheques at their company Red Letter Days.

07/08/2017 12:18 BST | Updated 07/08/2017 17:27 BST

‘Dragons’ Den’ stars and business tycoons Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis were conned out of £33,000, after their gift experience company was fleeced by a corrupt accountant.

Finance officer Akilan Selvathiravam is now facing jail, after admitting to forging cheques to fund his gambling addiction over a two-month period at Theo and Peter’s company, Red Letter Days.

Dave Hogan via Getty Images
 Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis

He appeared at Wood Green Crown Court, where prosecutor Linda Shamel said (via The Sun): “He falsified cheques and signatures, claiming they were corporate refunds and then cashed them.

“There were a large number falsified. He admitted doing it because he had a gambling addiction.”

Judge Joanna Greenberg QC warned Selvathiravam that “custody is the most likely outcome”, adding: “This was a serious offence, a breach of trust over considerable time.”

Selvathiravam, who looked after cheques and cash in the safe at the Red Letter Days’s headquarters in Southgate, was bailed until 23 August for probation reports.

Barclays Bank has compensated Theo and Peter over the scam.

The pair bought the company after it went into administration in 2005, under the ownership of previous ‘Dragons’ Den’ tycoon Rachel Elnaugh.

Rachel featured on the first two series of the BBC Two business series alongside Peter, while Theo joined the show during its second series and left following its 10th run.