Church Pastor, Sam Kayode Jailed For Stealing N2BN (£4M) From The School He Worked For

Pastor Sam Kayode

A crooked school accountant faces an extra eight years in prison unless he pays almost £3million in ten days.

Philandering part-time church pastor Sam Kayode, 61, was jailed in 2016 for nine years for taking £4million from the Haberdashers’ Aske’s state school chain.

The married father of four, who had three mistresses, tried to blame the theft on his late wife Grace and a young assistant, claiming they had transferred money to his account in a bid to smear him over his adulteries.

Now his sentence has been almost doubled after barrister James Thacker, acting for the Crown Prosecution Service’s specialist fraud division, told a proceeds of crime confiscation hearing that he had spirited away around £3million, probably to Nigeria and Dubai.

The lovers he showered with gifts might also face legal action.

The hearing at Woolwich Crown Court earlier this month was told that after Kayode joined Haberdashers’ Aske’s in 1997, it expanded enormously and embraced ‘academy’ reforms that gave schools more control over their finances.

Judge Nicholas Heathcote Williams said in his new judgment: ‘Over nearly seven years Kayode stole and defrauded over £4million from Haberdashers’ by transferring money from their account to his and his wife Grace’s.’

His boss, chief financial officer Paul Durgan, failed to notice any money was missing. Kayode was caught only when a school cleaner spotted bank account statements in his office.

The accountant earned £57,000 a year for his work at the chain’s south-east London schools, but drove a fleet of cars including several Mercedes, an Audi TT and a £40,000 Infiniti, carried a £1,500 Louis Vuitton briefcase and wore £500 Gucci shoes.

He has stopped claiming that his crimes were carried out by his late wife, who died of cancer in 2013 aged 53, and a junior employee.

Haberdashers’ has recovered £571,000 from the sale of flats and houses he owned, but at least £2.75million remains potentially recoverable.

Kayode was told that if he does not pay it all back by the end of this month he will be given an extra eight years.

The judge said: ‘The defendant is a very selfish, greedy and dishonest man. His evidence has been characterised by pauses while he is clearly calculating, not always accurately, what answers will help him and he may get away with and by grudging, evasive replies.’

The court heard more than £1million of the missing money was funnelled to Nigeria, where his ‘second wife or girlfriend’ Olubunmi ‘Bunmi’ Halima, 35, managed his business. He gave £266,000 to Halima, more than £77,000 to a second girlfriend Yetunde Turtak in Dartford, Kent, and hundreds of thousands more to relatives and friends in Nigeria.

Judge Heathcote Williams said he doubted every word but it ‘provides a clue where some of the hidden assets are’.

A third alleged mistress, Toyin Lawal, 52, of Northfleet, Kent, told the Daily Mail they were not lovers and Kayode simply paid a month’s rent for her when he was a church pastor.

Police took almost three years to charge Kayode after he was caught, giving him plenty of time to hide his fortune.

Mr Durgan, who failed to spot his employee’s fraud, went on to be hired by the auditors who missed the crime, then worked for another school chain.