A woman whose habit of buying horses was “more addictive than drugs” has been jailed for five years for stealing £1.7m from her employer to fund her lifestyle.
Lisa Crawshaw, from Gainsborough, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, and was sentenced at Grimsby Crown Court on 26 February.
The 45-year-old admitted taking the money to fund a “luxurious lifestyle, numerous expensive horses and equestrian equipment”.
The owners of the company she worked for discovered the thefts, which had been ongoing for approximately five years, when they started to receive debt-collecting letters after the sale of the company.
DS Ben Robinson, from the Humberside Police economic crime unit, said: “Fraud can be an extremely distressing offence to become a victim of, especially when the level of offending is of the magnitude in this case.
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“It is clear that Lisa Crawshaw had no regard for her employers and instead defrauded them to fund her own luxuries. With a habit of buying horses ‘more addictive than drugs’, as said in her own words, Miss Crawshaw not only destroyed a successful North Lincolnshire business, she also destroyed the owners’ years of dedication and future financial security.”
Mr Robinson said officers will continue to look into any assets that have been gained as a result of Crawshaw’s criminality.
“She will now have the next few years in prison to reflect on her actions, and I do hope this goes some way to bringing the victims a sense of closure,” he said.
“We are committed to tackling fraud of any scale, and would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud to report it through Action Fraud.”
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