A crooked head of energy procurement for around 120 local authorities has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty of a £2 million fraud.
Ross Knowles, 42, lavished tens of thousands of pounds which he amassed through his complex crimes on luxury purchases including a Jaguar car and trips abroad.
He had a high-flying role as head of energy procurement for the Local Authorities South East Region (Laser) group, managed by Kent County Council’s (KCC) commercial services.
In his position, Knowles, of Allington, Maidstone, had responsibility for bulk buying energy for KCC, Kent Police and around 120 local authorities and other public sector bodies. It enabled him to buy vast amounts of energy costing hundreds of millions of pounds but he committed an “extremely daring abuse” of his position, detectives said.
Police said that without the knowledge of KCC commercial services, Knowles negotiated an extra management fee with British Gas owner Centrica of 0.04 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh) to be added to the electric energy supplied and used.