A woman from Warrington who stole approximately £200,000 worth of goods from her employers has been jailed.
Karen Belton, 41, of Gainsborough Road, Latchford, was jailed for 20 months at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday 30 October. She had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of theft on Thursday 11 October.
Between 2009 and 2015 Belton was employed as Business Service Manager in Warrington where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of the office.
She left the job in 2015 when the company relocated.
In 2017, two years after relocating, a routine review by auditors revealed than an unusually large amount of money had been spent on printer cartridges and postage stamps during Belton’s time as Business Service Manager.
Their suspicions were aroused further when they discovered that all of the items had been ordered and approved by Belton.
The company reported its suspicions to Cheshire Police, who launched an investigation.
During their enquiries officers discovered that Belton had set up an eBay account in 2008 under the name Merlin from where she was selling stamps and printer cartridges at discounted prices.
Detective Constable Carl Davis said: “The audacity and arrogance of Belton is quite simply unbelievable.
“She stole stamps and printer cartridges on an industrial scale and even had the nerve to operate her eBay account from her work laptop during work hours.
“She had a number clients that she dealt with on a regular basis, purchasing stamps and cartridges through her work account after receiving their orders through eBay.
“In total we estimate that Belton stole approximately £200,000 worth of goods during her time at the company, with one client paying £159,479 into her account.
“Thankfully, as a result of the routine audit and a thorough investigation from Cheshire Police, Belton is now facing the consequences of her actions.”