York voucher scam fraudsters told to pay back more than £700,000

File picture shows Jennifer Ward at Leeds Crown Court.

File picture shows Jennifer Ward at Leeds Crown Court.

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A COUPLE who defrauded a major supermarket chain to fund a six-year spree of “insatiable greed” have been ordered to pay back more than £700,000 of their ill-gotten gains.

Jennifer Ward, 51, and her partner Alistair Lobban, 54, both of Wiggington Road, York, who were jailed in 2013, indulged in expensive holidays, cars and jewellery using the proceeds of their scam.

The scene at Jennifer Ward's house

The scene at Jennifer Ward's house

Ward, who was given a two year jail sentence, worked in the accounts department of Asda and used her position to steal the vouchers, which she later swapped for cash.

Over six years dating back to 2004, the couple spent more than £320,000 on holidays and theatre tickets and a timeshare cottage in the Scilly Isles.

Ward spread the proceeds of her crimes across numerous bank accounts and spent thousands of pounds on holidays and entertainment.

When officers searched her York home they discovered more than £200,000 worth of ASDA gift vouchers and a hoard of electrical goods, ornaments, paintings and toiletries.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Leeds Crown Court, Ward was found to have benefited from the proceeds of her crime to the value of £680,000 and was ordered to repay this amount.

Lobban, who was jailed for one year in June 2013 for money laundering, was found to have benefited to the value of £57,766 and must repay this amount.

Both were given six months to repay the money or face a further term of imprisonment, as well as still being liable to repay.

Speaking afterwards, Detective Inspector Ian Wills of North Yorkshire Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “This was a long and complex investigation which has finally come to an end thanks to the hard work and determination of Detective Constable Sarah Bullock and Financial Investigator Paul Dowsland.

“The Proceeds of Crime Act has been used to deprive two dishonest people from their illegal income.”

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