Couple victimised after fraud warning: When Alan and Anne cried foul over a boss's dealings they were suspended. Rosie Waterhouse reports

ALAN and his fiancee, Anne, were subjected to a campaign of intimidation after he raised concerns about possible fraud by the manager at the furniture shop where they both worked.

After training in the police force Alan, 24, joined the furniture chain as a sales supervisor in one of its large stores. He had recently been asked to act up as deputy manager when he came across a suspect transaction where new goods had been heavily discounted, invoiced to a small furniture shop in the county town and, contrary to company policy, despatched without payment.

As the transaction had been authorised by the branch manager, Alan followed company procedure and referred the matter to security. Without warning, Alan and Anne were put on paid leave of absence for several weeks while security carried out its investigation.

On the advice of a friend in the local fraud sqaud they decided to take the matter to the top and contacted the managing director of the company as they could not understand why they, who had done nothing wrong, were sent on leave.

Soon after the managing director looked into the complaint they were allowed to return to work, but at different stores. Over the next few weeks the couple received nuisance and threatening calls and Alan was a sent an anonymous letter, on company stationary, claiming that Anne was having an affair.

During security's investigations further allegations were made by six warehouse staff that heavily discounted goods, superficially damaged on the instructions of the branch manager, were dispatched to customers in the county town. Rumours spread that the area manager was closely connected to the store in the county town.

Security's inquiry cleared the branch manager, but the warehousemen were told they faced a disciplinary hearing for damaging goods. 'We felt completely let down by the company,' Alan said. 'We acted in good faith . . . And yet my previously good career prospects began to look poor and the innocent warehousemen were facing dismissal. The company clearly had its priorities wrong.'

The couple then contacted Public Concern at Work, whose solicitors approached the company's board of directors with a summary of the case. After their intervention at the disciplinary hearing it was accepted that although the goods had been damaged the warehousemen had been acting on the orders of the branch manager.

The area manager is leaving the company but Alan and Anne were given no explanation or thanks. Alan has now left the company.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This exciting startup disruptin...

Guru Careers: Carpenter / Maintenance Operator

£25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Magazine Designer

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This London based publishing co...

Recruitment Genius: Lettings Negotiator - OTE £30,000+

£13500 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Previous experience is benefici...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash