Monday July 18, 2011 : Finance manager stole three times his salary from employers
A UK wine company finance manager who stole over GBP30 000 from his employers to feed an internet gambling habit has been jailed in Southampton.
Paul Wyeth (30) was sentenced to imprisonment after he frittered away three times as much as he earned, a Southampton court was told this week. Wyeth had been employed at Thierry Wine Services since 2005, and his management responsibilities included paying invoices, preparing VAT returns and keying in bank statements.
Prosecutor Gary Venturi led evidence that in June 2007 he began stealing, taking cash from the importer’s euro and sterling account as well as petty cash, starting with small amounts around Euro 50, but growing bolder as the thefts went on.
Wyeth's dishonesty was uncovered in 2009 when he went on holiday and a colleague was asked to carry out an audit of the company’s books in preparation for the following year’s budget.
Wyeth admitted theft and false accounting.
Prosecutor Venturi claimed the amount stolen exceeded GBP38,000 but defence barrister Keeley Harvey claimed it was not that high, although it was acknowledged it stood at more than GBP30,000.
Jailing Wyeth for 15 months, Judge Simon Foster branded his criminality as “startling simplicity” and noted that he had perpetrated a serious breach of trust.