Former film studio employee sentenced for stealing almost £37,000 worth of Harry Potter merchandise

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A former Warner Bros Studio employee who stole £36,935 worth of Harry Potter merchandise to sell on eBay has today been sentenced.

Adam Hill, 35, stole Harry Potter items to order, including wands, ties, badges and key rings, from the Warner Bros Studio stockroom between December 2017 and March 2018.

Hill advertised the stolen merchandise on his personal eBay account, posting it to buyers from a local post office, then later using his company’s franking machine to send it from his work post room.

The thefts were discovered in March 2018 after colleagues noticed Harry Potter stock appearing and disappearing from under Hill’s desk, and reported him to their bosses.

In the internal investigation that followed, they found that Hill had sold 1,040 items of Harry Potter merchandise through his eBay account. When Hill’s car was searched, they found 12 parcels of Harry Potter items ready to be posted which matched sales he had made on eBay.

Officers from Hertfordshire police searched Hill’s home in St Neots, where they seized Harry Potter ties, badges and key rings as well as more envelopes and packaging.

Jan Muller of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “In a significant breach of trust, Adam Hill had the audacity to steal thousands of pounds of merchandise from Warner Bros in plain sight of his work colleagues; but they reported him after growing suspicious of the items constantly piling up under his desk.

“Subsequent scrutiny of Hill’s eBay and PayPal accounts revealed orders and payments received for goods which were found packaged up ready to send to buyers, giving him no option but to admit to his crimes.”

On 28 November Hill pleaded guilty to theft by employee and has today been sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for 18 months and 250 hours unpaid work at St Albans Crown Court.

Notes to editors

  • Jan Muller is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS Thames and Chiltern.
  • Adam Hill (DOB 6/11/1984) pleaded guilty to theft by employee, and was sentenced to 14 months in prison suspended for 18 months and 250 hours of unpaid work.
  • Confiscation proceedings have been formally commenced

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