A man has pleaded guilty to carrying out a £70,000 fraud against Barnet Council’s pension fund while working for outsourcing giant Capita.

The man, who was a senior pensions administrator at the Capita office in Darlington, spent some of the money “on personal items and to support his lifestyle” and paid some into a savings account, council audit papers reveal.

He committed the fraud by having two user profiles linked to the pensions system, creating and authorising payments using a secondary profile in his name.

This allowed him to bypass the system’s “role segregation rules” and make seven fraudulent payments adding up to £70,596.62, the audit report adds.

Barnet’s corporate anti-fraud team (CAFT) launched an investigation after Capita spotted unusual payments in transaction reports in May last year. The team was supported by Capita Group Financial Crime Team’s internal investigation.

The defendant was suspended from his employment on May 8 and later resigned from his post. He was arrested on May 22 at his home address by officers from CAFT, supported by officers from Darlington Police.

On January 14, he appeared at Harrow Crown Court and pleaded guilty to one offence contrary to section 4 Fraud Act 2006 (abuse of position).

The matter has now been referred for sentencing on February 25.

The report says Capita put “immediate mitigating controls” in place and carried out an internal review that led to recommendations “to safeguard and prevent any repeated incidents and strengthen internal controls”.

Some of the money has been restrained in the defendant’s savings account “subject to ongoing proceeds of crime recovery action”.

Pensions is one of a range of services outsourced from Barnet Council to Capita in 2013 under the Customer and Support Group contract.

The council was the victim of a £2 million fraud in 2016 and 2017, when Trishul Shah – who also worked for Capita – made 62 fraudulent payments into his own bank account.

Mr Shah was jailed for five years in July 2018 after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position while employed as a contractor on the council’s Regional Enterprise (Re) deal.

A spokesperson for Barnet Council and Capita said: “We identified a suspected fraud relating to Barnet Council’s pension fund and took immediate action to prevent this from reoccurring. We are working together to recover this money.

“As legal proceedings are ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further.”