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£13m suspected fraud at McAlpine

£13m suspected fraud at McAlpine
Suspected fraud at Alfred McAlpine has wiped £13 million from the support services giant's profits for 2006.

The size of the fraud, which represents a fifth of the company's value and has seen shares slide by 137p to 476.5p, comes in the wake of the discovery of possible accounting irregularities at the company's Slate subsidiary in north Wales.

The irregularities, over which two senior managers are currently suspended pending an investigation, are thought to involve taking orders at low prices in return for payment when the order is placed rather than once the sale has been completed.

Commenting on the developments in the Times, Alfred McAlpine said: "The board believes that the behaviour and collusion of the managers responsible has been entirely deliberate and involves the possibility of fraud."

The fraud has led to speculation that job cuts may be made to Slate's workforce, who has scheduled a union meeting with McAlpine's management tomorrow.