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Secretary Spent Stolen Money on Castles, Cars and Private Jet

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7:08am 19th February 2013
(Updated 7:08am 19th February 2013)

A Cornish company secretary is facing jail after cheating bosses out of almost £400,000 to live a luxury lifestyle.

Truro Crown Court heard Helen Hart spent the money on a private jet, fast car and stayed in a castle.

The forty-six year old from Alexandra Road, Illogan admitted theft and will be sentenced next month.

Among the luxuries she spent money on were £5,990 for a return trip to Paris, £7,816 on a hotel stay in Devon, and £4,752 on tickets and hospitality for a Premier League football match.

Among the cars she spent money on were a Porsche Boxster, Range Rover and a Mercedes.

The company’s cash was also used to improve her home. She spent £2,000 on a new kitchen, dipped into it to pay off her rent and water bills and splashed £4,985 on bottles of wine.

Hart had been due to go on trial yesterday, in a case expected to last four days.

But at the last minute she changed her plea to guilty.

Hart stole the cash from PDP Green Consulting Ltd, a Truro architectural and engineering firm.

The court was told the main charge was the theft of £380,000 from the firm between October 2005 and May 2011.
Hart admitted that, but on the basis that she only stole £190,000.

Prosecutors accepted that, since it would be unlikely to affected the prison term she received.

The judge declined to tell the tearful defendant how long that was likely to be.

Hart has no previous convictions and was told she would be sentenced next week, allowing her time to say goodbye to her mother, who was about to undergo heart surgery, her brother who has been paralysed in a crash and her father, who suffers from arthritis.

7:08am 19th February 2013

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