A 42-year-old woman who was convicted of stealing more than £520,000 from her employers has been ordered by a court to repay the full amount.
Dawn Butler, of Cambridge Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, was sentenced to two years and eight months imprisonment in March at Aylesbury Crown Court, after admitting one count of theft totalling £523,930.04.
Butler had stolen the money from her employers, Screen UK Limited in Milton Keynes, where she worked in the accounts department with responsibilities for administering credit control, petty cash, payroll and expenses. The money was stolen between 2003 and 2009 from the petty cash.
The company’s auditors uncovered a deficit of around £530,000 in December 2009 and the following month the matter was referred to Thames Valley Police.
Butler was arrested in February 2010 and the subsequent police investigation found she had transferred the majority of the money to Turkey. She was subsequently charged and admitted a charge of theft at court.
Butler re-appeared before Aylesbury Crown Court on Friday, June 8 for a confiscation hearing. At the hearing, the judge granted a compensation order derived from a confiscation order for hidden assets totalling £523,930.04 and ordered Butler to repay it within six months or face a further four years imprisonment in default. All monies recovered will be paid back to Screen UK Limited.
Susan Strongman, a financial investigator with Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU), said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the hearing. The defendant has never fully explained why she was sending the money out to Turkey.
“The theft of the money was a substantial loss to the company and the granting of the order for compensation now is some closure for them.”