Skegness

Skegness accountant ordered to pay over £100k after stealing from two businesses

A Lincolnshire accountant who was jailed for stealing from her clients has been ordered to pay them back over £109,000 in compensation.

Jane Moore, 57, was jailed for 28 months in October last year after she admitted thefts from J D Birch, a family garage in Sutton on Sea, and decorators J A Vickers.

Moore also admitted stealing a smaller sum of £780 from North Shore Holiday Centre on Roman Bank.

A proceeds of crime hearing at Lincoln Crown Court was today (Fri) told Moore made a total benefit of £292,408 from her criminal activity.

The court was told Moore, who was recently released from her jail sentence, had total available assets of £109,147.

Judge Michael Heath made a compensation order which requires Moore to pay back equal sums of £54,573 to J D Birch and J A Vickers.

Moore was given three months to pay the compensation. She could face up to three years imprisonment if the compensation is not paid.

At Moore’s sentencing hearing the court was told she simply transferred money in to her own account after encouraging the two family run firms to move to computer banking.

The court heard Peter Birch discovered the thefts from his business when he noticed an unusual transaction on a paper bank statement. He confronted Moore, who had worked for him since 2011, and she admitted being disgusted by what she had done.

Investigations showed Moore had transferred £73,000 in to her own account and also falsified two cheques to the value of £2,513.

Moore’s theft from J A Vickers was discovered when the business fell victim to an unrelated incident of computer hacking.

Investigations showed Moore had stolen £50,000 from the business in 14 high value transactions over a ten year period.

As the business became less profitable due to the thefts the owners were forced to remortgage their homes and cash in a pension.

Both businesses were run by 67-year-old owners who were forced to postpone their retirements.

The court was told Moore had no previous convictions and had wanted to plead guilty from the moment matters came to light.

Ian Way, mitigating for Moore, said: “There was no high living. She can only explain that she took money to pay bills which never seemed to be settled and it became a spiral.”

Moore formerly of Burghley Road, Skegness, and now of Garden Close, Stamford, admitted five charges of fraud and theft over a ten year period up until December 2015.

When he passed the original jail sentence on Moore, Judge John Pini QC told her: “Had you not been caught I believe there is little doubt you would have continued to behave in this way.”