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Family sentenced for £2.8 million theft from employer

24/06/2016

Shelagh Smith, Roy Smith and their daughter Karen Lewis have been sentenced to a total of seven years and four months imprisonment for their involvement in a £2.8 million theft from Glen Dimplex Home Appliances.

Shelagh Smith made false accounting records to conceal a large number of transfers made over a five year period, between 2005 and 2010. She employed techniques to mask transactions, fraudulently transferring money to her family's bank account while sending duplicate transfers of the same amounts to legitimate business suppliers.

Justine Allan, specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The Smiths were trusted employees. Shelagh Smith used her position and access to the company's accounts to make illegal payments to her own bank account and the personal accounts of family members.

"She covered up these thefts amounting to over £2.8 million over a number of years.

"On the strength of the Crown's case Shelagh Smith entered a guilty plea and, although initially denying involvement, Roy Smith and Karen Lewis later changed their pleas to guilty."

Shelagh Smith's daughter, Karen Lewis, received 38 payments totalling £677,000 over the five-year period. She initially said that she thought that the money came from compensation for a workplace accident her father had suffered. Later she admitted that she knew or suspected that the money was the proceeds of crime.

Roy Smith initially denied knowing anything about the fraud, saying that his wife had complete control of the family finances and led him to believe they were comfortably off.

Additional information

Shelagh Smith was employed by the company (under an earlier name and management) from September 1975 up until her dismissal in 2010. Her husband Roy Smith was employed by the same company from 1971.

Details of the charges:

Shelagh Smith was charged with false accounting contrary to section 17(1)(a) Theft Act 1968. Between 7 June 2005 and 14 October 2010 she dishonestly falsified bank statements and records for personal gain. The total amount taken across 163 transactions is £2,811,904.30. She was sentenced to 40 months imprisonment.

Roy Smith was charged with using criminal property, namely cash, during the same period, knowing or suspecting it to be the proceeds of crime contrary to s.329(b) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.

Karen Lewis was charged with using criminal property, namely cash, during the same period, knowing or suspecting it to be the proceeds of crime contrary to s.329(b) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. She was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.

Shelagh Smith pleaded guilty on 11 June 2015. Roy Smith and Karen Lewis pleaded guilty on 16 May 2016 to using the proceeds of Shelagh's crime.

Ends

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