01 July 1997

FORMER MARKETING services director of Abbey National Michael Doyle, found guilty at the Old Bailey last month of defrauding his employer of £1.2m, has been sentenced to eight years. He was also ordered to repay £226,430 compensation. Co-defendants Ian Zak and Timothy Spillane, both directors of sp agency Business Development Partnership, were jailed respectively for three and two years, while Guy Hewitt and Robert Taylor of NRG Communications got three years apiece. Stuart Nicholson, director of agencies Major Taylor Nicholson got five years and must pay £37,375 compensation, and Stephen Bracken of ASB Consulting went down for four years and was ordered to pay £25,634. Doyle's brother James, a successful TV writer, who was found guilty of laundering the monies filched from Abbey National, was sentenced to 18 months and must pay £37,000 to the bank or face an extended term in jail. The fraud was based on the classic scam of submitting and approving inflated invoices for genuine services and others for fictitious work. The bank also plans to take civil action against the four agencies involved.