Man sentenced for £3.6 million pound fraud on Toys R Us

18/12/2009

CPS Thames Valley Crown Advocate, Simon Heptonstall described Paul Hopes' multi-million pound fraud on US toys retailer, Toys R Us, as a "crime of lust, not passion".

At Reading Crown Court today Hopes was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for making 23 cash transfers totaling £3.6 million to a bogus company he operated between June 2006 and November 2008.

Hopes, who is married with two children, was motivated by a desire for sex outside of his marriage and spent most of his money funding the lavish lifestyles of the prostitutes he used.  These lavish lifestyles led to suspicion that one of the prostitutes was a drug dealer and bank statements seized from her property in a subsequent drugs raid showed the transfer of large amounts of money which could be traced back to him.

Simon Heptonstall added, "Paul Hopes was a fantasist who lived two very separate lives.  On the surface he was a family man and a loyal and highly trusted employee of Toys R Us.  Yet behind closed doors he spent his time stealing from his employers to fund the services of prostitutes and to buy them luxury cars and pay off their mortgages.

"He claimed to the prostitutes and the police that his gifts were legitimately funded through his salary, bonuses and share options.  In fact he abused his trusted position at Toys R Us to dupe his colleagues and make illegal payments to a sham company, which he named after one of the prostitutes.

The full extent of the assets available to recover is yet to be determined. The CPS has already started legal proceedings to ensure that Paul Hopes, and the recipients of his gifts, are stripped of those assets that are proceeds of this crime and returned to the victim."