Fraudster's tears as scam revealed he defrauded Leicestershire firm of £756,000
An insurance negotiator described as a "Walter Mitty" character defrauded his employer out of £750,000.
Joseph Gregory Pavitt, who was jailed for two years at Leicester Crown Court, skimmed off tax premiums from deals made on behalf of the company he worked for.
The 37-year-old resorted to crime to emulate his successful businessman father.
Pavitt pleaded guilty to fraud by abusing his position of trust as business development manager for Qdos Broker and Underwriting Services Limited, of Earl Shilton.
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He secretly siphoned funds into his personal account, between December 2009 and September 2010.
Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, told the court that the total cost of the fraud amounted to £765,000.
Brendan Dawson, director of Qdos, discovered Pavitt was "acting well outside of his permitted authority" by misleading his employers and a customer as to the nature of the business each thought the other was conducting.
Pavitt was said to have been "physically trembling" when summoned to a meeting to explain himself to Mr Dawson.
He admitted the scam, saying he had £700,000 in an account which he could hand over, if Mr Dawson could "get him off with this".
He paid back the sum of £697,927 to Qdos.
Pavitt had spent £66,398 – some of it towards the purchase of a house – which his father repaid on his behalf.
The court heard that Pavitt was formerly considered a popular and successful employee.
By the time the fraud was discovered, he was on target to legitimately earn £63,000 that year.
Ian Winter QC, mitigating, said: "It wasn't carried out primarily to fund a personal lifestyle. When the fraud was discovered he rang his father in tears."
Pavitt was described as feeling suicidal at times.
Family friend, Catholic priest Father Patrick Shannahan, travelled from eastern Congo to speak on his behalf in court.
He said: "He's a delusionist and lives a Walter Mitty life.
"He's trying to prove to the rest of us that he's a very successful man. He thought it was a way he could join the ranks of the highly successful."
Pavitt, of Hall Lane, Upminster, Essex, was said to be genuinely remorseful and suffering from depression.