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Gloucestershire Business News

IT analyst who cheated employers must repay £24K in three months

A former special police constable who cheated his employers out of thousands of pounds worth of Amazon vouchers has been ordered to repay his ill-gotten gains of almost £24,000 within three months.

IT analyst Jack Walden, 23, of Knotgrass Way, Gloucester, appeared before Gloucester Crown Court on Tuesday (September 9) for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He accepted that he had benefited from crime to the tune of £23,894-46 and that he has sufficient assets to hand back the entire amount.

Prosecutor Susan Cavender said £21,680-67 of the money is to be paid as compensation to his former employers, Kingsbridge Risk Solutions, Tewkesbury.

The judge, Recorder Thomas Brown, ordered Walden to repay the total within 3 months and told him he will go to prison for a year in default of payment.

When Walden was sentenced in February this year for the offence of dishonestly converting criminal property the court was told he got his job with the Kingsbridge firm on the strength of his trustworthy position as a special constable.

But he abused the trust not just of his employers by defrauding them but also of Gloucestershire Constabulary by posting sensitive police information about two members of the public on social media.

Walden pleaded guilty to dishonestly converting criminal property between May 27, 2017 and April 26, 2018 by selling £30,145 worth of Amazon voucher codes owned by Kingsbridge Risk Solutions on an eBay account named 'Bargain Voucher Codes' for £23,300.80.

The prosecution said the family-run business ran a rewards scheme using Amazon vouchers, particularly on the insurance side of the business.

An internal audit carried out during the early part of 2018 revealed that at least 21 of these vouchers had gone missing.

Suspicion began to fall upon Walden because he was only earning £21,000 per year but was driving an Audi RS3, worth more than £50,000. It was later revealed that he was leasing the vehicle for £543 a month.

Walden was also under investigation by the police at the time for posting sensitive force information about two members of the public on social media.

Walden, who had already resigned from the force, was found guilty of gross misconduct at a disciplinary hearing and has been banned from policing in the future.

His sentence at the crown court was 18 months jail suspended for two years plus 80 hours of unpaid work and an order to pay £500 court costs and £140 victim surcharge.

Read more: Tewkesbury company defrauded out of more than £30k by former employee

Read more: Gloucester IT worker accused of fraud involving more than £30,000 

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