Saturday February 28,2015 : THIEVING GAMBLER JAILED FOR TWO YEARS
23-year-old claims he stole money to feed an online gambling problem.
English online gambler Joshua Walwyn (23) was sentenced by the Bradford Crown Court this week to 2 years in jail for stealing GBP 231,383 from his telecom firm employer Abzorb over a period of two years to feed his online gambling habit.
The court was told that the 23-year-old's criminal conduct – he created false purchase orders and forged signatures on cheques which were paid into his own bank account – had a major impact on the firm's cash flow and also created an incorrect impression of its profitability.
Walwyn's scam, which took place between January 2013 and October 2014, was discovered when he went on leave, prosecutor Dave Mackay told the court.
He was immediately suspended, and surrendered himself to the police soon after, admitting his guilt, the court heard. He has no previous convictions.
Prosecutor Mackay said that the only money left from the stolen amounts was GBP 8,000 which Walwyn had recently won at an online gambling site.
Judge Neil Davey QC made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act for that money to be confiscated and paid back to Abzorb’s business as compensation.
Walwyn's defence said the 23-year-old had got into difficulties with his gambling habit and was now seeking assistance from a counsellor who specialises in gambling issues.
Judge Davey said the offending was aggravated by the fact that the company had not only lost the money, but it had affected the firm's cash flow and profitability.
He pointed out that the starting point in the case was three years in prison, but Walwyn's early guilty pleas to charges of theft and fraud meant the sentence would be reduced by a third to two years.