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Manager who stole £160,000 only has to pay back £10,000

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Earlier this year, there were reports concerning the case of Caroline Woollen, the manager of a global offshore company, who stole almost £160,000 from her employer.

Caroline Woollen tricked her Danish employer, Nordic Offshore, into believing she had secured lucrative contracts for them with Shell and Siemens. Company bosses paid her £159,000 to hand to workers to complete the contracts, but instead Ms Woollen spent the money on a campervan, skiing holidays and a £10,000 luxury trip to Canada.

Ms Woollen pleaded guilty to fraud between April 2011 and May last year. Due to her conviction for a dishonesty offence, proceeds of crime proceedings began against her. 

Judge David Tremberg has ruled Ms Woollen made £158,634 from her crimes. However, she has only been ordered to repay £9,240 because she has spent all the stolen money and has no other assets.

During confiscation proceedings, the Court must assess two amounts. These amounts are the defendant’s ‘benefit’ attributed to their crimes and the ‘available amount’, which is the amount the defendant has available from their assets in order to satisfy a Confiscation Order. 

The Court must make an order for the lesser of the two amounts. Provided a defendant can demonstrate with evidence that they have limited or insufficient assets, in most instances the lesser amount will be the defendant’s ‘available amount’. 

By fraud solicitor, Priscilla Addo-Quaye

If you are facing confiscation proceedings it is vital you seek specialist advice. Our team at Stephensons has expertise in all areas pertaining to fraud and financial asset recovery.