DISGRACED army officer Robert Henry Jolleys has begun a 12-month jail sentence for defrauding taxpayers of nearly £200,000 to send his sons to Stonyhurst College.
Jolleys (53), of Woodlands Park, Whalley, sent three boys to the private college using the Army’s continuing education allowance (CEA), which allows service personnel to send children to boarding school to prevent disruption to schooling caused by postings around the UK and abroad.
Jolleys, a Lieutenant-Colonel, used the “eye-watering” sums of money totalling £188,000 to provide the education that he could not have otherwise afforded, his trial at Swindon Crown Court heard.
The court heard that Jolleys was legitimately claiming the allowance, which pays up to 90% of the school fees, until he separated from his wife.
He should no longer have received the allowance, but did not inform his superiors of the split.
He kept up the charade by maintaining to his superiors that he was still married and that his wife Judith lived with him in his Army quarters when in fact they had separated.
His crime was discovered after his now ex-wife rang his superior officer in the summer of 2009 and asked “Where’s Henry?”, sparking an investigation.
Jolleys was convicted of three charges of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three charges of fraud and one charge of the forgery of his ex-wife’s signature on a bank form, after a trial in January.
Recorder Jeremy Wright told Jolleys he had committed a “serious, substantial fraud” over five years between 2004 and 2009.
“This is not just a case of letting things slip,” the judge said.
“On each of these occasions you deliberately ... made declarations to obtain the money you obtained and make the fraud.”
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