An award winning accountant who fleeced her employer out of £100,000 during a five-year deception has been jailed.
Greedy Sharon Eyre, 52, abused the trust placed in her by her employer, Tropicana Interior Landscaping owner Sue Graham, and continued to steal despite her offending putting the firm in serious financial jeopardy.
Mrs Graham had to sell jewellery, company vehicles and take money out of her pension to keep the business afloat as a result of Eyre’s deception.
But while her boss had to sell off luxuries, a police raid at Eyre’s house revealed expensive branded goods including watches and handbags.
The schemer – who was even thought of as a “good friend” by Mrs Graham – also claimed she felt “under pressure” to provide for her two daughters.
Andrew Horton, prosecuting, said Eyre was a self-employed book keeper and worked part time at the company from 2007.
The prosecutor said the company, based in Leeds, West Yorks., was established in 1986 and had an annual turnover of around £300,000, employing six members of staff.
It provides living plant displays and containers for offices and businesses around the UK.
Mr Horton said: “She was described by the complainant as becoming a good friend and she had no reason to think her untrustworthy.”
From May 2007 until the deception came to light earlier this year, Eyre had been paid #150,000 in wages.
Mrs Graham contacted police after she became concerned when she noticed serious discrepancies in the company accounts.
Investigations revealed Eyre had paid a total of £98,992 into her own bank account.
Mr Horton said Eyre had written 29 company cheques her herself.
She would also pay invoices twice – with one amount being paid to a supplier and then the same amount then being paid into her own account.
By 2011, Eyre knew the firm was struggling because Mrs Graham had to sell personal jewellery.
Police searched Eyre’s home in Wakefield, West Yorks., and found expensive branded goods including watches and handbags.
She admitted to police that she had been stealing from her employer because she felt under pressure to provide for her two daughters.
Eyre pleaded guilty to fraud and was jailed for two years at Leeds Crown Court.
Lindsey Lobley, mitigating, said Eyre had felt pressure to provide for her two daughters and grandchildren after they had financial problems.
Miss Lobley said that her elderly parents also replied heavily upon her.