'Greedy' Calderdale mum jailed over eBay car parts scam which cost firm more than £90,000

A “greedy” Halifax mum-of-two has been jailed for 18 months for her role in a car parts scam which cost her employer more than £90,000.

A “greedy” Halifax mum-of-two has been jailed for 18 months for her role in a car parts scam which cost her employer more than £90,000.

Sarah Hardaker from Halifax has been jailed

Sarah Hardaker from Halifax has been jailed

Sarah Hardaker, 39, had been employed as a sales advisor at the Halifax branch of Euro Car Parts Limited, but in 2017 an anonymous tip-off led to an investigation into the theft.

Prosecutor Frances Pencheon told Bradford Crown Court that the inquiry revealed that Hardaker, of Heath Lea, had ordered “huge quantities of car parts” and the majority had never been received by the company.

Miss Pencheon said checks on eBay revealed that car parts were being sold on the site and some of the photographs of the items even showed the warehouse floor in the background.

“Of the 393 items ordered by the defendant 375 hadn’t arrived or been booked in at the Halifax branch,” said Miss Pencheon.

She said it had been agreed that between February 2016 and March 2017 Hardaker had been involved in the theft of car parts worth £92,406.56.

The court heard that Hardaker resigned from her position before disciplinary action was taken and in May this year she pleaded guilty to charges of theft and transferring criminal property.

Barrister Gerald Kelly, for Hardaker, said her client estimated that she had received about £20,000 and she hadn’t been the only one involved in the activity.

“She didn’t retain all of the money that was made from the sale of these items on eBay,” said Miss Kelly.

Miss Kelly said Hardaker was ashamed and remorseful and had been dreading the day of her sentence.

She explained that Hardaker, who now had another job, had saved up about £1200 towards repaying her former employer and she urged Judge Jonathan Rose to suspend any prison sentence.

The judge was told that Hardaker had spent the money on debts and outstanding bills, but he stressed that the seriousness of the offending was not just the amount involved in the theft.

“It impacts in the company because your breach of trust means that every other employee comes under suspicion,” said the judge.

He said Hardaker had been in a position to manipulate and use any weaknesses in the company administration to make a very substantial amount of money for herself and others.

“Why did you do it? I am afraid to say I accept what you have said to the author of the pre-sentence report,” said the judge.

“It was greed. You had a job. You had a decent salary. You had a comfortable living and you were greedy. They are your words not mine.”

Hardaker will face a further court hearing in January under the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation when her financial affairs will be investigated to try and get back as much money as possible for the complainant company.

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