Jail for man who defrauded companies out of thousands of pounds

PUBLISHED: 07:35 10 April 2015

Archant

A financial manager from Mildenhall who used his company credit card to join internet dating sites and buy flowers and jewellery, has been jailed for 15 months.

Damian Storey, who is married with children, gave more than £10,000 of the £24,000 debt he racked up to a woman he was “seeking to impress”who was pregnant and had been abandoned by her partner, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Jailing Storey, 36, of Trinity Avenue, Mildenhall, Deputy Circuit Judge Peter Jacobs said: “You’ve been a bit of a Walter Mitty. You tried to big yourself up.

“You took pity on a lady whose partner left her while she was pregnant. I’m not going to impugn your motives but there is no fool like an old fool and you weren’t an old fool you were 35.”

“Whatever the nature of your relationship you stole £24,000, the bulk of which you lavished on her,” he added.

Storey admitted four offences of fraud.

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said Storey was employed as financial manager by Retail Services Team (RST) in Suffolk from November 2012 until September 2013, when he was dismissed.

While at the company he ran up a bill of £24,356 on a company credit card, which included cash withdrawals of £6,960, £3,425 spent on general purchases, payments of £159 to internet dating sites, £843 on purchases from Interflora and £2,000 on purchases from jewellers.

There were also payments of £10,650 to a woman Storey was “trying to impress”, said Mr Thompson.

He said the credit card fraud had a significant impact on RST and had caused huge stress to the managing director and his family.

Mr Thompson said that within days of leaving RST in Suffolk, Storey got a job as payroll manager for Circle Housing Group in Norwich, where he dishonestly obtained £7,500 by setting up accounts in the names of three former employees and paying wages into those accounts.

He had then put money from those accounts on to a pre-paid debit card which he used.

Alexandra Scott, for Storey, said her client had never been to prison before and said his wife had been “understanding” about the offences.

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