The finances of a Harrogate medical firm were plundered by one of its directors in order to enhance both his and his sales staff’s monthly bonuses.
Simon White had been a long-standing personal friend of the owner of Beaucare Medical Ltd, Jonathan Brown, and trusted by him to almost run the company single-handedly.
However, in November 2011, the operations manager reported to Mr Brown that she was unhappy about something which appeared to be going on and an internal investigation was launched by the Hornbeam Park based company.
As a result White, 49, now of Leeds, admitted what he had been doing and appeared before York Crown Court for sentencing on a previously admitted charge of fraud.
The court was told on Thursday last week that the matter had taken so long to come up for sentencing because the electronic accounting system originally set up by White had had to be redesigned, making it difficult to get correct figures for what had gone missing.
Eventually a figure of £13,100 had been agreed - £7,000 being taken by White in bonuses and the rest handed out to sales staff.
The court heard that an investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act had been held and that the money could be repaid by White after he had been forced to sell his home after losing his job.
For White, Graham Parkin said that his client had now set up his own business to support himself and his family, but was having to labour under the problem of having to admit to clients why he had had to leave the Harrogate company.
Telling White that he had brought his problems and public shaming upon himself, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said that he had read a victim impact statement from Mr Brown which outlined his feeling of betrayal.
White was sentenced to a 12 month imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
The judge told White that having to do the demeaning work, quite different to what he was used to, would be a real punishment for him.