Financial manager ordered to sell her home to repay the £2m she stole

A woman jailed for stealing from a company, while working as its financial manager, has been ordered to sell her house to repay the money she stole.

Joyce Baker, 63, of Briery Way in Hemel Hempstead, was jailed for five years and ten months in September 2019 after stealing from the lighting company she worked for to fund a gambling addiction and lavish lifestyle.

Between 2012 and 2018, Baker is thought to have taken over £2million from the company, before her actions were uncovered.

A subsequent Hertfordshire Constabulary investigation found that the money was used for gambling and holidays and she was convicted of theft for which she received a five year and four months’ sentence.

Following her arrest in June 2018, a Restraint Order was imposed to freeze Baker’s assets. However, some were not known to police and she continued to spend this on holidays, gambling and other purchases. For this offence she was jailed for an additional six months.

Further enquiries by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) established that Baker had assets valued at £146,350, and a Confiscation Order was granted through Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) legislation requiring her to repay this amount to the company.

If she fails to do so, Baker will face an additional two year jail term and would still be required to pay the full amount.

Senior Financial Investigation Manager Paul Fitzsimmons, from ERSOU’s Financial Investigations Team, said: “This court order will require Baker to repay as much as her assets indicate she currently has and, although this is the full extent of her known assets at this time, our team will continue to investigate if in the future she is able to repay more.

“We regularly use POCA legislation to ensure criminals don’t continue to benefit from their illicit actions and will do everything in our power to reimburse victims who have been targeted.

“In situations where criminal money has been used on gambling, we also work extensively with those companies to re-coup some of what the offender has lost and pass this back to the victim.”

In relation to this case, gambling agencies were able to compensate the victim £613,582.

HertsLive – Hemel Hempstead