Accountant Robert Wilson has been jailed for two years for stealing £195,719.53 from his employer over a five year period, costing eight people their jobs.
Wilson, who worked in the accounts department for six years before being promoted to chief financial controller for manufacturing company S&W, pleaded guilty to stealing from his bosses.
Peterborough Crown Court heard how the accountant set up a series of falsified invoices to drip feed £3,000 a month to his bank account between July 2007 and November 2012.
After Wilson went off sick with stress, the company bought in a chartered accountant to cover while he was off, who discovered that some payments from the previous month could not be reconciled.
When the firm dug deeper, the police were called in and Wilson was arrested and charged.
Managing director of the company, Graham Whyles, told the Wisbech Standard Wilson was a “spineless, despicable thief” who stole the money to fund a cocaine habit.
“He was very clever at how he did it,” Whyles said. “Not only did he hoodwink us he hoodwinked the auditors.”
Whyles also said the thefts took place when he took his eye off the ball as he nursed his sick mother who was dying of cancer. “All the time she was dying he was taking money,” he said.
Whyles said that as a result of Wilson’s actions they had to make eight people redundant.
“Not only has he stolen from me but in turn he stole from his colleagues. We have had many redundancies, young people with mortgages and children,” he added.