Mum stole nearly £1 million to fund ‘lavish’ lifestyle and pay for her wedding

A mum-of-three has been jailed after stealing nearly £1 million to fund her "lavish lifestyle".

Amanda Rees began illegally transferring money into her personal bank account from her employer, three years after joining the company.

She joined the manufacturing firm based in Runcorn's Astmoor Industrial Estate in 2010 and continued to transfer money into her accounts until 2019.

The 34-year-old of Olive Mount, St Helens, was caught out in November of that year after the firm realised what she had been doing.

She was reported to the police and the huge sum was revealed after an investigation.

The firm discovered she had stolen a total of £980,673 from the company, reports Cheshire Live.

Rees admitted being responsible for the thefts when she voluntarily attended a police station and was interviewed by investigators in March 2020.

Rees was charged with seven counts of theft and one count of money laundering which she pleaded guilty to. She was sentenced to five-and-a-half years at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday (November 3).

Sergeant Phil Brown, who led the investigation on behalf of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: "Employed as an admin manager, Amanda Rees was responsible for the company's outgoings and had full access to its bank accounts.

"The firm placed a high degree of trust in her for this role, but unfortunately that trust was misplaced.

"Over several years Rees transferred large quantities of money from the company's bank account into her own accounts.

"The stolen money, which totalled nearly £1million, funded a lavish lifestyle for Rees and her family.

"Once her offending came to light Rees admitted being responsible for the thefts and money laundering at the first opportunity to do so.

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"When questioned by officers she claimed that she was suffering from depression and had stolen the money as a way of self-medicating, with buying luxury items for herself and her family making Rees feel better.

"She admitted paying for her wedding, cars, home improvements and holidays with money she stole, as well as luxury items such as hot tubs.

"Rees also admitted volunteering to work from home when on maternity leave so that no-one else would have to deal with the company's finances and her offending would not be uncovered.

"She is now behind bars facing the consequences of her actions and I hope that this case deters others from committing similar offences."

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: "I would like to thank all the officers that have been involved in the investigation for their endeavours to secure this conviction.

"I hope that the conviction and the custodial sentence imposed by Chester Crown Court provides the company that is the victim in this case with some closure."

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