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Jail sentence for fraudster

A Pagham thief has been jailed for three years for stealing a six-figure sum from her bosses.


Lynn Boakes, 47, of Sea Lane, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court after she had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud of nearly £117,000.


These were fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation and making an article for use in fraud.


Her husband, David Boakes, 54, of Sea Lane, was given a two-year conditional discharge after he had pleaded guilty to fraud by representation.


He had also entered an earlier not guilty plea to converting criminal property, which the court decided could lie on file.


Mrs Boakes was hired as a book-keeper at a steel company in Birdham in April 2013 and was responsible for the company’s payroll.


A Sussex Police spokesman said outside court:


“Towards the end of 2016, Boakes started to abuse the trust she had built by taking regular sick days, despite posts on social media showing her stopping or being abroad on holiday.”


The director of the company was said to have become concerned and searched the payroll documents for the previous few years.


He discovered Mrs Boakes had been paying herself a higher wage than had been agreed. Between October 2013 and April 2017, she had overpaid herself by a total of £13,462.


“Further investigation discovered Boakes had used her inflated pay slips to purchase a car on finance,” said the spokesman.


“She had also diverted £103,450.26 worth of her employer’s funds into her personal bank account that had been disguised by using a fake company name.


“Boakes was immediately suspended from the company, the director informed Sussex Police and her work computer seized.”


A job reference for a job application by Mr Boakes was found on the computer.


This falsely stated he had worked for the steel company for two years.


It had been signed by a fake employee, ‘Janet Young’ – which are the actual middle and maiden names of Mrs Boakes.

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