A man who helped to steal £230,000 from a Birmingham-based electrical goods company has been jailed for 18 months.

The court heard that the amount Mohammed Ishtiaq stole was high enough to have brought the company to “breaking point” with all the subsequent ramifications for the staff.

But Ishtiaq’s role in the scam was deemed to be unsophisticated and that his personal gain had only been around £5,000.

Ishtiaq, (27), of Hendon Road, Sparkhill, had previously admitted four charges of fraud, two of theft and retaining a wrongful credit.

Kate Thomas, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said the victim was an electrical wholesale company called Hagemeyer, which had a head office in Edgbaston and was supplied by a business called Pyrotenax Thermal Controls.

She said that Hagemeyer was sent two invoices by Pyrotenax, one for £229,267 and the other for £3,530 and later received an email from the supplier saying it had not received the money.

Investigations revealed that the smaller amount had not been cashed but the larger cheque had gone into a branch of HSBC in Kings Heath.

The money had then been transferred to three further accounts which had been opened by Ishtiaq who had then made a number of withdrawals.

Ms Thomas said it was likely a man who had worked for Pyrotenax for a short time and obtained the employment using bogus documents, was connected to the scam.

Ishtiaq was later arrested and when his home was searched banking documents were recovered as well as evidence of the purchase of a Lexus car.

Sanjeev Sharma, defending, said: “It is clear that the defendant was not the brains behind this criminality.”

He said Ishtiaq received instructions from others and that he had used his own details to open the accounts.