Woman jailed for theft of £1.7m from her Newmarket employer to fund gambling addiction ordered to repay nearly £800,000
PUBLISHED: 10:39 18 August 2017
An account manager who was jailed for four years after she admitted stealing £1.7million from her Newmarket employers has been ordered to pay back nearly £800,000 of her remaining gains.
Tracey Stevenson, 52, of Thetford, used her position to transfer company funds into her own bank account, wrote company cheques to herself and altered records to cover her tracks.
With her ill gotten gains – boosted ironically by gambling wins of £1.6 million and £250,000 – she went on a house buying spree in England and Spain.
When she was sentenced last August her defence team said Stevenson “feels overwhelmed with shame and knows she has betrayed her employer.
“Her admissions came about because of a suicide note her husband discovered. In her 52 years on earth her only previous brush with the law was a speeding ticket 20 years ago”.
The judge was less sympathetic pointing out that her employers – with a 13 strong workforce – had spent £40,000 investigating why money was haemorrhaging from their business.
“You had gambling wins but rather than pay the company back you bought three houses,” he the judge told her.
“You became dishonest to an extent barely seen.”
The proceeds of crime hearing followed an inquiry by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
Stevenson was instructed to pay back £786,766.38 to her former employers Ecsec Ltd based in Fordham Road, Newmarket, at the conclusion of confiscation proceedings at Cambridge Crown Court on August 11.
Stevenson had been sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at the earlier hearing in July 2016.
As a result of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) Confiscation Order, it was directed that the hundreds of thousands of pounds must be paid within three months.
Should the order not be met, Stevenson would be made to serve a further six years’ imprisonment on top of her original sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Liz Fernandes of ERSOU said: “This brings to a conclusion an investigation conducted by our specialist financial investigators, alongside our colleagues in Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
“We are immensely satisfied with this outcome to what has been a complex investigation, and has ensured that the defendant in this case has been stripped of the profit she had made from her crime.
“In addition the company, who had fallen victim to her offending, has been compensated as a consequence, and the case goes to show that crime certainly does not pay.”