An accountant who fiddled the books to steal more than £40,000 from a client to ‘keep his family in the manner to which they had become accustomed’ has been jailed for 16 months.
Father of four Richard Greg Hoyle, 31, of Henrietta Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, wept as he was sent down after admitting three counts of theft and two charges of false accounting.
Minshull Street Crown Court heard Hoyle made 16 transactions transferring money into his wife’s account, before spending it on food, petrol and general living expenses for his children, aged between six months and seven.
His thefts put his firm’s client Warehouse Rework Solutions Limited at risk of insolvency.
Hoyle started work at Fletchers Chartered Accountants in Dukinfield as a trainee in 2004, working his way up to a trusted position.
His boss, Charles Fletcher, was a distant relative.
Nicola Wells, counsel for the prosecution, told the court: “Mr Fletcher said he came across as honest and he came from a good family who was a trusted member of staff.”
In October last year, a director from WRS called Mr Fletcher to say an invoice had not been paid, sparking an investigation. It found false invoices for 16 transactions totalling £40,935.36, paid into the bank account of Hoyle’s wife.
When the thefts came to light, Hoyle confessed, sending his boss a text which read: ‘It was me, I’ll come into the office when I’m ready’.
Hoyle has now paid back £48,000 – the full amount plus compensation – after re-mortgaging his home.
Paul Bryning, defending, said: “He made the first transaction hoping he could repay it before it came to light. He was trying to keep his family in the manner they had become accustomed to.”
Judge Peter Lakin told him: “You breached their trust in the most serious way. It seems there was an element of greed here.”
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