A finance manager has been jailed for stealing thousands of pounds from her Caerphilly-based employer and spending it on home improvements, foreign property, and a car.
Debbie Alexander admitted stealing £87,500 from Tailift and Shutterdoor Specialists (Tasds), based on Van Road, by transferring money from the company account to her own bank accounts and credit cards.
Newport Crown Court was told how the money was stolen over several years during her employment between 2012 and June last year. In that time, Alexander spent the money on home improvements, a property in Hungary and a new car.
Her husband, which the court was told is supporting her, did not know what she was up to.
Alexander, 50, of Dyffryn Cellwen, in Neath Port Talbot, was given a final written warning by the firm’s managing director on June 26 for being rude to customers. The following day she failed to return to work and never went back. It was later discovered that she had deleted all of her emails.
The company hired a new finance manager who audited the accounts and found that money was missing. Police were then called in. Alexander’s charge sheet reads that she stole £101,427.12, however in court the prosecution accepted the lower amount of £87,500.
As finance manager, Alexander had sole access to the company accounts and was also in charge of payroll for the company, which employs around ten staff and has an annual turnover of around £400,000.
She was arrested and when interviewed by police initially denied any wrongdoing. It was only when police started looking at her accounts that she admitted the theft.
Sentencing her at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday, June 4, Judge Jeremy Jenkins described the theft as a “sustained dishonesty over a protracted period of time” and a “gross breach of trust”.
Alexander was sentenced to 14 months in prison and will serve half in prison and half out on licence. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is scheduled for later this year.