Crooked Blackpool employee benefitted from her crimes against firm to the tune of more than £40,000

A woman who stole more than £30,000 from her employers only has £92 of assets to seize back, a financial probe has found.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 5:00 pm

Katie Woodfinden, of Tudor Close, Poulton, near Blackpool, was previously jailed for 28 months after admitting stealing from her former employers TRG group, which recycles furniture, in Blackburn.

Woodfinden, who also used to be the director of several Preston-based companies, worked as a financial controller for the firm.

An investigation found she had diverted company money into her own bank account under the cover of paying suppliers.

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The authorities can seize a criminal's assets

The 38-year-old had changed the account number of legitimate suppliers who raised invoices in order to redirect the payments to herself on 13 occasions over a period between December 1, 2016 and August 12, 2017.

The alarm was raised in summer 2017 when a supplier told the company boss they had not been paid.

The total amount stolen over the 10 month period was over £30,000.

Lancashire Police launched a public appeal to find Woodfinden after the thefts were discovered.

During a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Preston Crown Court she was found to have benefitted from her crimes to the tune of £40,611.58 but had just £92 of assets to seize.

Judge Heather Lloyd ordered her to pay that amount within three months or the defendant will face a further month in jail in default.

Proceeds of crime is the term given to money or assets gained by criminals during the course of their criminal activity.

The authorities, including the Crown Prosecution Service, have powers to seek to confiscate these assets so that crime doesn’t pay.