BBC News

Woman jailed for stealing £437k from Dorset firm

Published
image copyrightDorset Police
image captionReceipts were found for a Rolex watch and Range Rover at Emma Elizabeth Rhodes' home

A woman "motivated by pure greed" has been jailed for five years after stealing £437,000 from her employer.

Financial controller Emma Elizabeth Rhodes made secret payments from Dorset firm Norco Holdings to her bank account to pay for an "extravagant" life of luxury items and holidays, police said.

Detectives found a receipt for a Rolex and payments for a Range Rover.

The 37-year-old, of Manor Lane, Verwood, admitted fraud by abuse of position at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Rhodes, who earned £40,000 a year, had been responsible for paying workers' salaries at the time she was stealing from the manufacturer between 2015 and 2018, Dorset Police said.

Financial irregularities in the company's accounts were only discovered after she was sacked due to an "indiscretion in the workplace".

Holidays and ski trips

Detectives established Rhodes had been paying sums hidden in legitimate transactions, ranging from £1,632 to £80,000, into bank accounts owned by her.

In a police interview Rhodes, formerly known as Emma Martin, said he took the money to avoid having to pay tax.

The forces said the money had been spent on the rebuild of Rhodes' house, sun holidays and ski trips. A purchase document for a £80,000 Range Rover Sport and receipt for a £8,300 Rolex were also found.

Det Con Steph Ashworth said: "Emma Rhodes abused her position of trust with her employer and carried out a sustained campaign to defraud the company of a huge amount of money over a two-and-a-half year period.

"She did this out of pure greed to finance her house build and a lavish lifestyle."

One count of concealing, converting or removing criminal property was left on file.

A hearing to recover the money she stole under the Proceeds of Crime Act is set to take place, police said.