Two female fraudsters have been jailed after they used company credit cards and accounts to clear personal debt and buy luxury items for themselves.

Over the course of five years, Leia Jones and Kayleigh Stonestreet used their positions at the Rochester based business to swindle their former employer out of £289,074.

1,100 fraudulent orders

Between 2013 and 2017, the women placed more than 1,100 fraudulent orders with over 600 online retailers using the employer’s accounts. They also ordered a variety of items, including cleaning products, camping equipment, home décor, mobile devices and designer clothes.

Mobile phones

On 7 December 2017, their offending was uncovered when a mobile phone provider reported unusual activity on the company’s account. Initial enquiries revealed Stonestreet had ordered 92 phones, totalling £41,000, which she had then sold to an online phone recycling firm for just over half their value.

Further internal investigations led to the discovery of financial irregularities on other accounts and the two women were arrested by investigators from Kent Police’s Economic Crime Unit on 21 May 2018.

Stonestreet, from Chatham, was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, and Jones, from Swanscombe, was charged with one count of the same offence.

Both women were also charged with two further counts of fraud for spending more than £100,000 each on online purchases. They both admitted the charges.

Stonestreet, 36, was jailed for three years and 10 months while Jones, 37, was sentenced to two years and seven months in jail. Both women were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday 3 April.

Detective Sergeant Adam Stallard of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘Fraud is not a victimless crime.

‘These women were trusted in their roles, and they purposely deceived their employer over a number of years for financial and material gain.

‘I am certain if their offending had not come to light, they would have continued to defraud the company. Their sentences are justified and I hope they serve as a reminder to others who may be thinking of committing similar crimes.’

By Ed

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