Saltdean accountant who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds told to repay just £1 (From The Argus)
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Saltdean accountant who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds told to repay just £1
A high-flying accountant who stole more than £235,000 from small businesses has been told to pay back just £1.
Garry Hacker, of Lenham Avenue, Saltdean, was yesterday jailed for three years but let off paying back hundreds of thousands of pounds because he has declared himself bankrupt.
Instead the 50-year-old father-of-four, who was earning £70,000-a-year, was ordered to pay back a nominal amount of £1 and told he would not need to cover compensation or costs.
Lewes Crown Court was told Hacker had not spent the money on “flash cars or holidays in the Bahamas” but on his four children by three different mothers and “running two different homes”.
Judge Anthony Scott-Gall said Hacker had been living a “grotesque lie”.
Hacker suggested in police interviews he simply did not know where all the money had gone.
Nicholas Hamblin, prosecuting, said Hacker found rent prices where he lived very high.
Transcripts from Hacker’s police interviews were read out in court.
Explaining why he stole the money between 2001 and 2010, he said: “It’s sort of needs must.
“I didn’t have a clue [how much I was taking].
“I did it to pay bills. I survived and that’s all it is.”
Mr Hamblin explained Hacker worked as an accountant for Hove-based insolvency firm Chantrey Vellacott.
He said he joined as an office manager in 2000 and worked his way up the ranks.
In 2010 he was a partner and on a salary of about £70,000 a year.
Sometimes he took home expenses of £1,500-a-month.
But from 2001 he had been writing himself personal cheques which should have been used to pay creditors of companies that had gone into administration.
He was found out after a colleague, Lisa Fitzpatrick, became suspicious.
Police were contacted and Hacker admitted everything.
He pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by breach of trust and one of obtaining funds by deception.
Kevin Light, defending, said: “He said there is no mitigation, no excuse.
“He said he was dreadfully sorry and very remorseful.”
Judge Scott-Gall said: “You had a handsome salary.
“The real losers in this case are the unfortunate clients of Chantrey Vellacott who had to repay their creditors… the real victims of this are the little people.
“The company were rowing one way and you were rowing the other way.
“You were siphoning off increasingly large amounts of money and the company was haemorrhaging money.
“You have looked in the mirror and know precisely what you have done.”
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