Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Free-Spending Finance Chief Nicked Half A Million From Events Company

"Greedy": Gwenda Hussey
The “greedy and selfish” financial controller of a global events management agency, who swindled the company out of over half a million pounds, has been jailed for five years.

Mum-of-three Gwenda Hussey, 53, of Ty Mawr, Llanellen, Abergavenny started off as a book keeper at Q2Q Communications, based at Westminster House, Kew Road, Richmond-upon-Thames.

However, over a period of five years she transferred an average of £2,000 per week into her own bank accounts to pay off store and credit cards.

She says she became addicted to shopping to deal with family stresses, but the only major purchase investigators found was £9,800 on a new kitchen, plus a £25,000 gift to her husband.

Hussey was convicted after a four-day trial of one count of fraud by abuse of position between May 1, 2010 and November 30, 2015, with intent to make a gain, namely £544,040.01p.

She fought the case, claiming her bank account must have been hacked, but now accepts her guilt, saying she could not face up to the shame of admitting she was a fraudster in front of her children, all in their early twenties and one a schoolteacher.

The family’s old Richmond home in south-west London has been sold for approximately £500,000 and Hussey’s 50% share will go towards compensating Q2Q. 

Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court heard £12,000 has been recovered so far, with Hussey claiming the family had been £80,000 in debt.
Caught: Hussey

She admits “living beyond her means” and treating her family to holidays with the company’s money, explaining her youngest son’s nervous breakdown, aged 14, was the trigger to the offending.

“You were convicted by the jury on overwhelming evidence,” Recorder Ann Mulligan told Hussey, who was pay paid £765 per week by Q2Q, after starting there in January 2008.

“That renumeration was insufficient for your purposes and you alone with the three directors had access to the company’s online bank account and over five years you made regular and often substantial transfers into your own account.

“During those years it was obvious you lived well, well, well beyond your means.”

Q2Q’s MD Matt Ridler gave a victim impact statement. “He expresses astonishment at the extent of your greed and selfishness.

“You were aware that the company went through some difficult times, but you ignored that an syphoned the money away.”  

Hussey’s lawyer Mr. Rag Chand told the court: “She simply buried her head in the sand and found it difficult to address the problems in her life.

“She sought to solve those problems through shopping, extensive shopping.”

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