An accountant with a Camden-based movie production company, involved in a string of Hollywood hits, used their money to order a £10,000 Rolex during a bitter bonus dispute.
Nicola Hodson, 42, was even offered £20,000 the day before by The Fyzz Facility, but still proceeded to order the watch using the company’s credit card.
The company also has a Los Angeles office and has invested over £200m in more than 200 feature films over the last seven years.
These include Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen; Martin Scorsese’s Silence, starring Liam Neeson; Shock and Awe directed by Rob Reiner and starring Woody Harrelson and The foreigner, starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan.
Hodson, of Victoria Barracks, Sheet Street, Windsor pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by dishonest abuse of position on January 29, last year, namely attempted to gain the £10,714.90 Rolex.
Blackfriars Crown Court heard she cancelled the transaction and never received the watch, but was dismissed when the company discovered the fraud.
Hodson was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for twelve months and ordered to complete 40 hours community service and pay £500 costs.
“It beggars belief that you were so stupid to use their card to buy a ten thousand pound Rolex watch the day after they offered you a twenty thousand pound severance,” Recorder Dafydd Enoch QC told her.
Hodson had always fought the case and eventually admitted her responsibility on the day of her trial.
“At the eleventh hour you pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud. There was obviously history to it that maybe made you think you were entitled to a certain amount of money from the company.
“What you did do was cross the line from honest negotiation to dishonest appropriation and you have admitted fraud on this company.
“Normally when someone steals from the company they work for that person goes to prison, but this was a misguided attempt to sort out negotiations not going your way.
“You cancelled the transaction as soon as you set it up. You realised soon after that you did wrong.
“You knew full well that you were acting dishonestly.”