Manager Gail Gardiner and husband Richard Gardiner jailed after almost £360k stolen from Hanson Aggregates in Maidstone
A manager and her husband have been jailed after they enjoyed the high life with almost £360,000 stolen from a Maidstone construction company.
Gail Gardiner was earning around £40,000 a year while filtering the cash into a bank account set up by her husband Richard over a two-year period.
After paying off debts, the couple moved to a bigger house and bought luxury items and took expensive holidays. They have since separated.
Hanson Aggregates in Maidstone. Picture: Google Street View
Gail Gardiner was sentenced to three years and four months and her husband to two years after she admitted fraud and he admitted acquiring criminal property.
Maidstone Crown Court heard the mother-of-two worked for Hanson Aggregates, based on Twenty Twenty Industrial Estate in St Laurence Avenue, Maidstone, for 15 years.
Prosecutor Sarah Lindop said as a sales centre manager 47-year-old Gail Gardiner was in a position of trust and responsibility. She lived in Maidstone, but their main home was in Wiltshire.
An account was opened in October 2010 in her husband's name and money was paid into it for fictitious work carried out for Hanson, which supplies construction materials.
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
As a team leader, she was able to obtain computer log-in details and passwords from other employees.
The total amount taken was £359,056 and a further £27,000 was in the process of being filtered into the account when it was stopped during an internal investigation.
Miss Lindop said the fraud caused the business extreme difficulty. Customer services manager John Anderson told the court the money taken represented 10 per cent of UK profit in a year.
A sum of £48,000 in cash had been taken out of the Richard Gardiner account. "I don't believe any of the money has been recovered," said Miss Lindop.
Judge Philip Statman at Maidstone Crown Court
Judge Philip Statman said there would have been about £60,000 going into the household at the time.
He told Gail Gardiner, of Shire Way, Westbury, Wiltshire, and Richard Gardiner, also 47, of Lilac Grove, Westbury: "That in the current climate is no mean income."
He added: "There has been a gross breach of trust. This is a sophisticated fraud. The amount of money is very substantial indeed."
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