Fraudster worked on set for a week then claimed £36,000

A man covered his face with his hands while jailed for defrauding a company involved in the Brave New World TV series.

Liam Pattison, 34, worked just one week for 4Wood TV and Film – which built film sets in South Wales – but for the next seven months sent commercial invoices for payments totaling £36,000.

4Wood, who worked on Sky’s Brave New World show with Demi Moore, were defrauded of £33,120 before carrying out the scam. The company then folded, Cardiff Crown Court heard Monday.

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Pattison, of Lime Tree Mansions in Maindy, Cardiff, appeared in court wearing a navy suit with a white shirt. He admitted to committing fraud between June 2019 and January 2020.

Prosecutor Josh Scouller said: “Defendant undertook sub-contract work for the company. During the summer of 2019, the company hired significantly more sub-contractors due to a large influx of work for the production of Brave New World at Dragon Studios in Bridgend.

“The defendant initially performed real work for the company. Due to an influx of 150 contractors in a short period of time, the company did not do much due diligence.”

After working for a week in June 2019, Pattison was told by a site construction manager that his services were no longer needed. But he continued to submit invoices to 4Wood, which found no discrepancies until January 2020.

Mr Scouller said: ‘The company noticed that the invoices were fraudulent as it seemed rather odd that full weeks – including Sunday nights – were being paid for despite the fact that over the winter the amount of work required had decreased considerably.”

The company failed to pay the final bill and reported Pattison to South Wales Police who visited his home in April 2020. After being warned, he said: ‘I had the intention to descend.” But he later granted an interview to the police “without comment”.

Mr Scouller said the 4Wood folding could not be “directly attributed” to Pattison’s fraud, but the loss he caused to the business was “significant”.

Pattison has previous convictions for theft, brawl, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon. He was living with his partner and family at the time of the fraud, his lawyer Lucy Crowther said.

“He was struggling with his work obligations and frankly taking way too many intoxicants,” she added. “The effect was not good for him. He struggled to deal with all the pressures he was facing and he was outspoken enough to accept that he saw an opportunity and took it.”

Ms Crowther said her client felt “consumed” by credit card debt at the time. He now feels “shame and remorse” for his actions, she told the court.

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Calling for a suspended prison sentence, Ms Crowther said: “He addressed his drinking. He completely got over his cocaine use, which was a very big factor in that offence. He also dealt with his father, who is obviously ill.”

She added that Pattison had found a job earning £160 a day. He pays his father £150 a week in rent.

Judge Timothy Petts said the case would have progressed much faster had Pattison cooperated with police. He said the accused was a contributing factor to layoffs at the company, causing “considerable stress and anxiety”.

He admitted the defendant had worked to resolve his substance issues and that immediate custody would impact Pattison’s father, but he said that was outweighed by the “distress” caused by Pattison.

The judge sent Pattison to jail for 18 months. He did not order compensation and told the defendant: “There is no way you can pay a realistic sum.”

Pattison did not seem to understand that he had been imprisoned. When a security guard motioned him to follow, Pattison brought his hands up to his face and said, “Oh what? Oh my God. I thought it was suspended.”

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