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FAI employee sentenced to jail


SYDNEY, Australia—Anthony Boulden, a former financial controller at FAI General Insurance Co. Ltd. has been sentenced to a term in prison for being privy to the fraudulent alteration of a ledger which had the effect of reducing claims estimates against the company.

Mr. Boulden was sentenced to a 12-month term, to be served by periodic detention.

FAI was a unit of the HIH Group of Companies, which became Australia's largest corporate failure when it collapsed in 2001. Seven former employees of the company have been sentenced for their role in its downfall.

Mr. Boulden pleaded guilty on one count of being privy to the fraudulent alteration of a ledger which reduced claims estimates by about $5.5 million Australian ($4.3 million).

The falsified estimates were reflected in FAI Insurances' financial results for the half-year ended December 31, 1997, according to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, which brought the charges against Mr. Boulden.

For the period, FAI reported a pretax operating profit of $3.18 million Australian. But without the improper claims estimate reductions it would have posted a loss of about $2.33 million Australian, ASIC noted.