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  1. Media Law
September 18, 2013

Woman sentenced to three-and-a-half years after stealing £95k from media agency

By Press Gazette

A former employee of a London-based press agency was found guilty last week of stealing more than £95,000  from the company bank account.

Katie Crilly, 29, of Northaw Road East in Cuffley, Herts, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison at the end of a week-long trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Crilly held the position of Finance Manager at Barcroft Media between May 2009 and August 2010.

She was arrested in June 2012 after an internal company audit carried out in April 2012 revealed a series of suspicious payments.

According to Barcroft, the court heard that Crilly transferred a total of £95,052.82p from the company account into two personal bank accounts between July 2009 and August 2010.

The agency said that her defence counsel, Avirup Chaudhuri, claimed the money was due to her as bonuses, overtime and the repayment of expenses she allowed other Barcroft employees to charge to her personal debit and credit cards.

However, this view was challenged by the prosecution, led by Matthew Turner, who said that the payments were fraudulent transfers disguised as payment of bills.

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Barcroft said today that the jury dismissed Crilly's claims and found her guilty of one count of theft in breach of trust on a unanimous verdict after less than an hour’s deliberation.

Judge Byrne said: “You were, in my opinion, in a very high position of trust, especially as you were given access to the Barcroft Media bank account.

“During the course of your employment there, you embarked on a thoroughly dishonest course of action.”

As well as imposing a custodial sentence, the judge also set in motion a confiscation order to seize the money stolen during her time at the company.

Barcroft Media, an international editorial content agency based in Hackney, London, is also pursuing a civil claim against Katie Crilly in the High Court. 

Sam Barcroft, Founder of Barcroft Media said: "We're incredibly pleased with today's verdict. 

"I'd like to thank Police Officers Ann Brundrit and Derek Lee for their fantastic professionalism and support, and also my brilliant colleagues at Barcroft Media for their kindness and bravery at a difficult time."

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