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Bury St Edmunds: Car dealership accountant jailed after stealing £1,000 a week over nine years

09:00 29 March 2014

Karen Foster, who has been jailed for two years

Karen Foster, who has been jailed for two years

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A book keeper for a car dealership who stole more than £500,000 to fund a lifestyle beyond her means has been jailed for two years.

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Karen Foster, who drove a Jaguar and also had a Range Rover, was employed by EMG Motor Group in Bury St Edmunds and stole £1,000 a week over a period of nine years, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Foster, 52, of Andrews Walk, Bury St Edmunds, admitted four offences of theft and four of false accounting between January 2004 and December 2012.

Jailing her for two years Recorder Paul Taylor said:”Fundamentally you are a decent woman who quite frankly started stealing and couldn’t stop. You aren’t a selfish woman - you tried to create a life you simply couldn’t afford so your family would be happy.”

“It is extremely sad to see a lady like yourself in a crown court facing sentence for stealing more than £500,000,” said the judge.

Barnaby Hone, prosecuting, said Foster was employed as a book keeper by EMG since 1996 and had only started stealing in 2004.

He said that when someone bought a car for cash she had pocketed the money and had put it down as money that was owed.

The thefts were eventually discovered by another employee and there was an investigation.

Foster, who was paid £16,000 pa, had handed herself into the police and admitted what she had done.

Richard Potts for Foster said she had no previous convictions and had used the money to fund a lifestyle beyond her means.

He said Foster drove a Jaguar and also had a Range Rover which she had purchased on credit from her employer.

He said she had no qualifications and her job had grown and her responsibilities had increased when staffing levels were reduced at the company.

He said that having started stealing money Foster had not dared to take any time off in case the thefts were discovered and this had gone on for a number of years.

He said Foster was much loved and admired by her family and friends and she felt very bad about what she had done.

He said no suspicion had fallen on any other employee as a result of her offending.

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