Fraudster who stole £65k from Chorley firm must pay £9,500 or face jail

Preston Magistrates Court
Preston Magistrates Court
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A woman who stole tens of thousands of pounds from a training firm she worked for two years ago has been ordered to pay back some of her ill gotten gains.

Greedy Claire Twist helped herself to around £65,000 funds from her Chorley-based employers.

In November 2016 the 39-year-old, from Butts Green, Warrington, was given two years in prison suspended for two years after admitting two counts of fraud by abusing her position.

A financial investigation by Lancashire Police afterwards found she had £9,500 of realisable assets the authorities could seize.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing before Preston Crown Court was told it included two cars worth £4,840 and £3,195.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley, said the amount also included the car’s personal registration plates worth £625 and £465.

Twist was deemed medically unfit to attend the hearing after providing a sick note to the court.

The defendant had worked as Head of Business for Care-fully Trained Limited in Euxton, who provide training for people working in the caring profession.

In the course of the company’s business it provided training for Spindrift Care Home, during which Twist stole £23,092.75 between February 2012 and May 2014.

She also admitted stealing £42,038.50 over a similar period when the firm provided training to staff at Breck Lodge, in Poulton-le-Fylde and Northlands care home. It is understood she sold training packages but diverted the money to her own bank account.

The company’s director, Peter Buky, who has been able to claim money from insurers, was not available for comment.

Judge Andrew Woolman found her benefit figure was initially £65,131.25 but it was increased to £70,244.24 to take account of inflation.

He said: “The available amount is £9,500 the breakdown of which is detailed.

“The defendant will have three months in which to pay and all sums raised will go to the insurers Underwriting Limited.

“In default there will be six months imprisonment.”