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Salesman stole £69,000 in secret Paypal account to fund drugs and trip to Alton Towers – Mirror Online

A salesman stole £69,000 using secret Paypal accounts to fund his drink and drug habits.

Sean McDivett, 34, from Southport, Merseyside, carried out around 200 transactions while working at West Lancashire firm Yellow Products Design.

The money was also used to pay for restaurant visits and a stay at the Alton Towers Hotel, Liverpool Echo reports.[1]

McDevitt was jailed for 26 months after admitting carrying out the transactions over a two-year period between 2015 and 2017.

Prosecuting, Lisa Worsley told Preston Crown Court that McDevitt was given a full-time job at Halsall-based firm Weatherstop, after impressing boss Ashley Smith when he visited to fix an IT issue.

McDevitt was moved to a later shift of 1pm-9pm  - involved working four hours alone in the office and a £3,000 pay rise - as the company's sales in the US grew.

Preston Crown Court

But when a confused customer accidentally sent a Paypal payment to a wrong email address, McDevitt set up an account to collect that money for himself and began a regular swindle which saw him carry out dodgy transaction once a week.

He then offer 10% discounts - which were not given by the firm - to customers whom he tricked into paying directly to him.

A total sum of £43,606 was paid directly to those accounts controlled by McDevitt, while the stock and courier services used to complete those transactions took the total cost to more than £69,000.

The dealings were found when boss Mr Smith walked past McDevitt's desk and saw an unusual invoice on the computer screen.

Salesman stole £69,000 in secret Paypal account to fund drugs and trip to Alton Towers - Mirror Online
He funded trips to Alton Towers

He initially assumed McDevitt was carrying out a personal transaction but decided to investigate further by checking on his browser history.

The next day when Smith attempted to log onto McDevitt's computer, he found a blank screen and the system seemingly wiped.

Mr Smith fired McDevitt and reported the crime to the police.

In addition to the stolen money, the firm has been hit with further costs totalling more than £14,000 for solicitor fees, forensic investigations, and new computer systems.

Defending, Paul Becker said that McDevitt was at a “very, low ebb” when he carried out the theft as he battled alcohol and cocaine addiction, for which he has already sought treatment.

He added that McDevitt has been married for six years and has two children from a previous marriage, as well as living close to his mother who depends heavily on him.

Salesman stole £69,000 in secret Paypal account to fund drugs and trip to Alton Towers - Mirror Online
Alton Towers in Staffordshire

Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Barker said: “This was money you stole from your employer which was a business which was owned and run by Mr Ashley Smith.

"You came upon him while undertaking some IT work at his business and you impressed him.

“That could and should have been a good opportunity for you to make good and be part of a vibrant and successful business.

“But you then began to steal money from this business, you began to operate a shadow system within the company with customers using a different email system which then diverted money from the company into your own accounts.

"This was repeated on many, many occasions over this time.”

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References

  1. ^ Liverpool Echo reports. (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk)

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