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Where did all the money go?

Updated: Jan 31

Rebecca Thompson who wrote the first ever article on The Post Office scandal in Computer Weekly in 2009 arranged the interview with Nick Wallis, author of 'The Great Post Office Scandal' and me, Ron Warmington in December 2023 to find out...

At GE Capital, in my position as Head of Fraud Management and Investigations in EMEA, we developed a forty point Global Fraud Management Training Programme which incorporated modules covering every subject needed to bring already-smart people up to a level where they could safely be let loose. Those modules included document analysis; interviewing skills; integrity and code of conduct; IT; forensics; and much more. This helped to make the company extremely fraud, and error, repellent… and profitable.

Had Post Office fielded investigators - and fraud managers - as smart and as well trained as we did in GE Capital (or in Citibank, as in most other successful companies), the underlying software and process flaws would have been detected - and repaired - over a decade ago.

This podcast, in a superb series hosted by Nick Wallis and Rebecca Thomson, focussed on the question that so many people have been asking for over a decade: “Where did all the money go?”.

It’s a rather lengthy piece, which does go into some detail. We cover 14 ways that money is likely to have escaped from Post Office branches, resulting in the branch Subpostmaster being expected to make good the resultant shortfalls “without delay”. We of course focus on the Horizon system which, at the time, was said to be the largest non-military piece of software in Europe, supporting 16,000 Post Office branches and 60,000 users at its height. With this in mind we, in Second Sight, were surprised that it hadn’t been built with more error and fraud repellent features. But we don’t only focus, in the blog, on SOFTWARE. There were many more factors in play here, including HUMAN BEHAVIOUR.

While I discussed, with Mark Baker (a long-serving Subpostmaster and Union rep.), those14 different ways that money could have ‘disappeared’, we concluded that, in all likelihood, some of it must have ended up in one of the Post Office's internal ‘Suspense Accounts’. After three years, all of the entries that hadn’t been identified as to their rightful ownership and/or been claimed by customers or clients was swept into Post Office’s own P&L account, increasing its profits. This was part-admitted by Post Office’s CEO: Nick Read in a Parliamentary Committee Meeting in January 2021.

Listen to the full interview below to discover all the places where the missing money could have gone.


Ron Warmington.jpg

Ron Warmington


  • Fellow of the ICAEW

  • Founder member of the ACFE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) 

  • Member of the Association of Corporate Investigators

  • Founder and member of the advisory board of the IFG 

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