That’s Asda price! York supermarket fraudsters must pay back £700k

21 Jan 2015 @ 4.53 pm
| Crime
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The stolen Asda gift vouchers

A woman from York and her accomplice have been ordered to repay a total of more than £700,000 after defrauding Asda.

Jennifer Margaret Ward, 51, of Wigginton Road is already serving a two year prison sentence for theft and fraud.

She was jailed in June 2013 after admitting to stealing £400,000 from her employers, Asda on Jockey Lane, Huntington, York.

Ward also had £200,000f Asda gift vouchers for use in fraud.

Now she has returned to Leeds Crown Court and ordered to repay £680,000, the proceeds of her crimes.

If Ward 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 found to have benefited to the tune of £57,766 and was ordered to repay that amount.

He was jailed for a year in May 2013 for money laundering.

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Defrauded: Asda on Jockey Lane, York. Photograph: Google Street View

Funding a lavish lifestyle

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Cameras, TVs, hair straighteners… some of the booty seized by police
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More of the property bought with Asda’s money
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Boxes of booty

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 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.

Police described the pair’s joint spending as “colossal, indulging in a lavish lifestyle way beyond their means”.

Court decision welcomed

The repayments were ordered thanks to the Proceeds Of Crime Act. Detective Inspector Ian Wills, of North Yorkshire Police’s financial investigation unit, welcomed the court’s decisions.

He 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.”