Mother who stole more than £75,000 from a family business by fraudulently refunding herself cash must pay back ill-gotten gains

PUBLISHED: 15:50 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:56 10 January 2020

Dianne Polson, of Oak Avenue in Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, stole more than £75,000 from a family business by fraudulently refunding herself cash. The 45-year-old mother has been ordered to begin paying back her ill-gotten gains. Picture: POLICE

Dianne Polson, of Oak Avenue in Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, stole more than £75,000 from a family business by fraudulently refunding herself cash. The 45-year-old mother has been ordered to begin paying back her ill-gotten gains. Picture: POLICE

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A mother who stole more than £75,000 from a family business by fraudulently refunding herself cash has been ordered to begin paying back her ill-gotten gains.

Dianne Polson, of Oak Avenue in Hampton Hargate, Peterborough, was employed in an admin role by Canopy UK Direct Ltd - a manufacturer of extraction systems - in February 2015.

Over three years she made various fraudulent refunds through the company's system onto her own bank card.

Polson, 45, was discovered when the company accounts were prepared for an accountant and managerial staff noticed a high number of refunds.

She was found to have used the company's payment machine to 'refund' cash into her own account before fraudulently recording this against customers' names.

The total amount of money Polson stole from Canopy UK was £75,785 and her actions nearly caused the company to go into liquidation.

The police were informed and Polson was consequently arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation.

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In interview she admitted refunding herself the cash, telling officers she was struggling financially to provide for her family.

Polson said that the extent of cash she took snowballed until she was pocketing cash every week.

She told officers that she had used some of the cash for online gambling and had not bought anything extravagant with the money.

Polson pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by false representation and was sentenced on 5 August last year at Cambridge Crown Court, where she was handed 40 months in prison.

At Peterborough Crown Court today (January 10) Polson appeared for a POCA hearing, where Judge Sean Enright ordered her to pay back her current available funds of £2,595 within 12 weeks. The remaining amount owed will remain indefinitely until paid.

Specialist financial investigators from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) undertook an investigation into the illicit profit Polson had made from her crimes, ensuring that all assets held by her were identified and made subject to Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) restraint proceedings.

DC Robin Gray said: "This POCA hearing helps again highlight that crime doesn't pay and has made sure that Polson has begun to be stripped of the profit she made from her deception.

"Polson had absolutely no consideration for others as she stole from her own employer.

"Her actions caused her colleagues a lot of distress and nearly caused the business to close completely."

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