Joanna Brooks jailed for stealing £156,000 from CA Automotive Technology Ltd in Gosport, Hampshire

Daily Echo: Woman at centre of £156,000 company fraud is jailed Woman at centre of £156,000 company fraud is jailed

A WOMAN who stole nearly £156,000 from a Hampshire company and lied about a heart attack to avoid the courts has been jailed.

Joanna Brooks, 42, from Gosport caused family-run business CA Automotive Technology Ltd to go into liquidation because of the fraud.

She had become a trusted employee and friend to owners Roy and Laura Carvalho and had been given the responsibility of paying suppliers.

But when given blank cheques to do so, she transferred money into her own account instead.

Brooks pleaded guilty to the fraud in August - but claimed she had chest pains when she was due to be sentenced in September.

Last month she sent a letter to the court claiming she was due to have cardiac surgery and would need six weeks to recover.

But the lies caught up with Brooks when inquiries with hospitals revealed that she was not due to have surgery.

She was arrested and has now been handed five-and-a-half years in jail by a judge at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Prosecutor Martyn Booth said the theft had had “devastating repercussions” for Mr and Mrs Carvalho.

He said: “They have seen their company of 20 years going into liquidation and will have to sell their house because of the fraudulent activities of an employee that they trusted and considered as a friend.

“The administrative officer would often spend hundreds of pounds in high street stores and spent thousands of pounds on foreign holidays for her and others, including one holiday to Barbados in the Caribbean.

“Analysis of her bank account showed that she was making large cash withdrawals on a regular basis as well as spending money on luxury items.

“All of this was happening whilst Mr and Mrs Carvalho were tightening their belt significantly to cater for their failing business.

“The combined effect of this fraud was to prove disastrous for them. The company that they had spent so long building and operating suffered serious financial difficulties.

“Mr and Mrs Carvalho spent their life savings in an attempt to keep the company afloat, but ultimately their efforts were in vain.

“The company went into liquidation, leaving them without a source of income and without any savings to fall back upon.”

The sentence was given to Brooks for offences of fraud and failing to surrender to bail.

Comments (4)

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8:33pm Mon 12 Nov 12

huckit P says...

Was she just sent to prison without any fine or without being made to repay any of the stolen money? Surely her house could be taken as it (or part of it) would have been obtained with the proceeds of crime.
Why should hard working people suffer while criminals get off so lightly?
Was she just sent to prison without any fine or without being made to repay any of the stolen money? Surely her house could be taken as it (or part of it) would have been obtained with the proceeds of crime. Why should hard working people suffer while criminals get off so lightly? huckit P
  • Score: 0

10:32pm Mon 12 Nov 12

eurogordi says...

"Why should hard working people suffer while criminals get off so lightly?"

I agree, but then look at our politicians who get off VERY lightly indeed for a wide range of misdemeanors.
"Why should hard working people suffer while criminals get off so lightly?" I agree, but then look at our politicians who get off VERY lightly indeed for a wide range of misdemeanors. eurogordi
  • Score: 0

12:06am Tue 13 Nov 12

IronLady2010 says...

Yep, you watch this Labour MP who claims she's ill, get away with the lot. It does pay to be mega wealthy and eat from the trough like a greedy pig.
Yep, you watch this Labour MP who claims she's ill, get away with the lot. It does pay to be mega wealthy and eat from the trough like a greedy pig. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

12:21am Tue 13 Nov 12

Pikey Pete says...

Whats Ironic is this.

Banks were doing the same-thing in a roundabout way.

Except the fraudster wasnt taking the money but the bank was allowing it to happen.

Now this brilliant family business is bust...

But the banks who willingly let the similar cro¡imes happen. Hvae our money to bail them out and stay in business.

Even though they have no business. Most banks were and still are illegally trading. With our money.!!!!

There is no Justice. There is only WRONG. Because every day the RIGHT. As in the good business here is striped of everything.

NO Government help...Nothing. It really pees me OFF.

I HOPE THE FORMER OWNERS WIN THE LOTTERY...
Whats Ironic is this. Banks were doing the same-thing in a roundabout way. Except the fraudster wasnt taking the money but the bank was allowing it to happen. Now this brilliant family business is bust... But the banks who willingly let the similar cro¡imes happen. Hvae our money to bail them out and stay in business. Even though they have no business. Most banks were and still are illegally trading. With our money.!!!! There is no Justice. There is only WRONG. Because every day the RIGHT. As in the good business here is striped of everything. NO Government help...Nothing. It really pees me OFF. I HOPE THE FORMER OWNERS WIN THE LOTTERY... Pikey Pete
  • Score: 0

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