A FORMER Verwood woman who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from her employer has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 by a court.

Emma Elizabeth Rhodes, aged 38, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court to five years in prison on November 2 last year for an offence of fraud, which related to the theft of £437,000 from her former employer.

Following the sentencing hearing, proceedings were started under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the funds she had obtained from her offending.

Rhodes fraudulently obtained the money between December 2015 and May 2018 when the defendant, formerly Emma Martin, worked for Norco Holdings Ltd – a group of companies based in Dorset.

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At a hearing on Friday September 24 at Bournemouth Crown Court, it was ruled that the total benefit figure from her offending was £437,431.68 and the total amount available to be seized under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation was £120,122.75.

Rhodes has been given three months to pay the sum, or could face a further 12-month prison sentence in default.

It was ordered that two shotguns and a diamond engagement ring, bought for £13,000, that were seized when the defendant was arrested are to be sold to help pay the available sum.

It was also ordered that funds from the sale of two personalised number plates and the defendant’s share of a house will also go toward paying the confiscation order.

As with all Proceeds of Crime confiscation orders, the remainder of the total benefit figure is still outstanding and there will be further reviews in the future to ascertain whether Rhodes has acquired further assets and is able to pay further amounts.

Detective Constable Scott Brimicombe, of Dorset Police’s Financial Investigation Unit, said: “The defendant in this case obtained large amounts of money over a period of several years.

“We will always do all we can, using the legislation available to us, to ensure that we can recover all possible funds from offenders who have benefitted financially from their criminal activities so that victims who have lost out are compensated.”

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