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Fraudsters ordered to repay more than £700,000

Last modified: 9 May 2018 at 10:48am

A convicted fraudster has been ordered to repay £680,000 and her co-accused £57,766 following a Proceeds of Crime hearing at Leeds Crown Court.

Jennifer Margaret Ward, 51, of Wigginton Road, York who was jailed for two years in June 2013 for theft and fraud offences, was found to have benefited from the proceeds of her crime to the value of £680,000 and was ordered to repay this amount.

If she fails to repay the money within six months, she will face four years in prison and will still be liable to repay the money.

Her accomplice, Alistair Gordon Lobban, 54, also of Wigginton Road, was jailed for one year in June 2013 for money laundering. He was found to have benefited to the value of £57,766 and must repay this amount.

He has been given six months to repay the money or face 20 months imprisonment and will still be liable to repay the money.

Ward pleaded guilty to charges of theft and possessing or having control of an article for use in fraud on 13 January 2012. She admitted to stealing at least £400,000 from her employers, ASDA on Jockey Lane, York and having in her possession, over £200,000 worth of Asda gift vouchers for use in fraud. She was jailed for two years for each offence, to run concurrently.

Lobban was found guilty of money laundering by jury at Leeds Crown Court on 2 May 2013. He was jailed for 12 months.

Detective Inspector Ian Wills of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “This was a long and complex investigation which has finally come to an end thanks to the hard work and determination of Detective Constable Sarah Bullock and Financial Investigator Paul Dowsland. Indeed their work was commended as outstanding by His Honour Judge Bayliss QC at the time of sentencing.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act has been used to deprive two dishonest people from their illegal income and has demonstrated North Yorkshire Police’s determination to strip criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”

Ward worked in the cash office at ASDA and was responsible for reconciling accounts and destroying used vouchers. She abused her position of trust to steal cash and vouchers and falsified the accounts which she returned to ASDA’s head office in the course of her work.

Ward spread the proceeds of her crimes across numerous bank accounts and spent thousands of pounds on holidays and entertainment.

When officers searched her York home they discovered more than £200,000 worth of ASDA gift vouchers and a hoard of electrical goods, ornaments, paintings and toiletries.

Between 2004 and 2010, the pair’s joint spending was colossal, indulging in a lavish lifestyle way beyond their means.

Anyone who suspects someone of living beyond their means should not hesitate to report it to the police, we will take action.

Call your local police on 101, or if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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