Bradford

Finance director jailed for £1.3m theft from Leeds firm

A finance director who stole more than £1.3m from her employers to pay for holidays, property and cars has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Jane Jones, 45, from Bradford, siphoned off money from Squirrel Storage and used it to fund "a lifestyle that was financially beyond her means".

The mother-of-two admitted theft of £1.36m from the Leeds-based firm.

Recorder Jonathan Sandiford, at Leeds Crown Court, said: "I cannot fail to conclude this was all about greed."

The court was told Jones, of Cullingworth Fields, started out as a credit controller for the company that offers data storage facilities to the business community.

Financial irregularities

As the company grew - its turnover increased from £2m to £12m in the period the defendant worked there - Jones was promoted.

She was eventually promoted to finance director in 2006 on a salary of £90,000 but her lack of formal accountancy qualifications meant she was eventually replaced.

The financial irregularities came to light when the new finance chief received a complaint about an unpaid invoice.

Investigations were started and it was discovered Jones has a separate account into which company money was paid.

The court was told the theft took place between February 2000 and October 2009.

Between 2004 and 2009 she spent £800,000 on holidays, clothes and cars.

Four properties were also purchased, one for her family, a home for her elderly mother and two homes which she rented out.

John Diarmid, for Jones, said his client had "great ability" dealing in financial matters but she had thrown it all away.

He said the money was "lavished on assets that would benefit the family as a whole, not solely her".

Mr Diarmid added she was devastated by the "shame and disgrace" she had brought on her family and her marriage had ended as a result.

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