A “deceitful and manipulative” finance director of a Northampton company has been jailed after she stole £850,000 from her employer over a seven-year period.
Linda Going, aged 64, bought a villa in Turkey and a number of new cars for her husband and son, including a Jaguar, after she abused her position to steal an average of £10,000 a month.
Northampton Crown Court heard that Going, of Wetheral Close, Northampton, got a job in 1996 at WH Shoebridge & Sons, a family-owned electrical suppliers company that employed 25 people.
Going did not mention that she had recently filed for bankruptcy but managed to work her way up the hierarchy to become the finance director.
Andrew Peet, prosecuting, said, from 2006, Going began stealing “enormous amounts” from the company by using her knowledge of the electronic invoice system to transfer money into her own bank account.
The court heard that, during the next seven years, Going used the money to make mortgage payments for her son Christopher Going, aged 41, and bought a number of new cars for her husband Peter.
Going also stole more than £6,000 from the company’s petty cash box during the same period.
Mr Peet said: “It all came to light in Spring 2013 when the defendant was away on holiday in her villa in Turkey.
“An employee at the company who was due to take over from the defendant saw a discrepancy between an invoice and the money coming out of the company’s accounts.”
The owner of the company embarked on an internal investigation and it was revealed that £850,000 had been stolen from the accounts, equivalent to five percent of the firm’s revenue over the seven-year period.
Mr Peet said: “Mrs Going was a highly respected member of the workforce and she was extremely highly regarded by Mr Shoebridge. He considered her a very good friend.
“But the theft had been going on for seven years.”
Going’s husband Peter, aged 62, and her son Christopher, of Balfour Close, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, were both charged with converting criminal property.
The court heard that Peter Going received £775,000 through a joint bank account he shared with his wife and a total of £169,000 was transferred to Christopher Going’s account.
Both men denied any knowledge of Mrs Going’s crimes but were found guilty after a trial earlier this year.
Linda Going pleaded guilty to a number of charges of theft and fraud.
Recorder Christopher Goodchild said Linda Going had exhibited “manipulative and deceitful” behaviour.
He said: “An enormous amount of money was stolen over the seven years, equivalent to £10,000 a month.
“That furnished an ongoing lifestyle improvement including cars for the family, mortgages paid off, a villa in Turkey.
“At some stage it must have been clear to Mr Going that something was going on, he must have been suspicious but he did nothing. He enjoyed the fruits of the crime.”
Recorder Goodchild said that Christopher Going, who was a freelance DJ, also should have been suspicious of the “enormous generosity” from his mother that included off the paying off of large debts and a gift of a new car.
He said Linda Going’s theft from the petty cash tin was an act of “absolute meanness.”
Linda Going was jailed for four years. Peter Going was given an 18 months jail sentence suspended for two years. He was also given a three-month curfew from 8pm to 7am.
Christopher Going was given a 15-month jail sentence, suspended for two years. He must also complete 200 hours unpaid work.
A Proceeds of Crime (POCA) hearing will also be set to try to recover the money stolen from WH Shoebridge & Sons by Linda Going.