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Woman stole £100,000 from small family business after siphoning off cash into THREE bank accounts of hers

PUBLISHED: 10:07 20 March 2017

Donna Hartshorne

Donna Hartshorne

Archant

Donna Harshorne pleaded guilty and was jailed at Cnaterbury Crown Court

A 37-year-old woman who stole £100,000 from a family business in Ashford has been jailed for 18 months.

Donna Hartshorne, of Cross Stile, started working as an accounts administrator for the small firm in June 2011, and was responsible for paying fuel bills and dealing with correspondence.

The fraud came to light when Hartshorne took six weeks off work and other staff members were asked to cover her post. They found three bank accounts which were receiving payments from the company without any explanation as to what they might be for.

Enquiries revealed all three accounts belonged to Hartshorne.

It was found that she had made 82 payments to herself totalling £99,746 between August 2012 and July 2016. Combined with bank charges incurred for each payment, the company had lost a total of just under £101,000.

She was arrested on September 16 last year by Kent Police.

At Canterbury Crown Court Hartshorne pleaded guilty to one count of theft by employee and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Investigating officer, detective constable Jacqueline Mennie, said: “Thefts like this are a violation of trust and it is upsetting not just for the owners of the business but the staff who work there and would have felt the impact of Hartshorne’s actions.

“She has never been able to explain what she spent the stolen money on and I am pleased with this outcome.”

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