Woman jailed for failing to pay back money stolen from Clifton graphic design company

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By matt_2009 | Monday, September 10, 2012, 11:40

A woman has been handed 18 months behind bars for failing to pay back the money she made from crime.

On Friday (September 7th) Maria Seward, from Keynsham was jailed by a judge at North Somerset magistrate's court after she failed to wipe the debt by making regular payments.

Seward pleaded guilty to theft after she stole £34,122 from Hello Charlie Ltd a small Clifton based graphic design company where she had been employed as an office and administration manager.

At the time she was sentenced to 51 weeks in prison suspended for 2 yrs as well as 100 hrs unpaid community work.

Following sentencing a confiscation hearing took place on the 8th of February of this year where it was identified that she had benefited from her criminal conduct to the extent of £34,122. Seward was given six months to pay under threat of a further sentence of 18 months imprisonment if she failed to do so.

As no payment had been made, an enforcement hearing which took place and Maria Seward's default sentence of 18 months behind bars was imposed in full.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the debt is not wiped out by the default sentence but actually increases as interest is added after the original time to pay expires.

Dr Kirstie Cogram, the manager of Avon & Somerset Financial Investigation Unit said: "This case demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with the Crown Prosecution Service and H.M. Courts and Tribunals Service in order to ensure that Crime does not and will not pay.

"We will continue to pursue individuals who do not pay over the proceeds of their crimes and are committed to recovering criminal assets in all cases where an offender can be seen to have benefited from their crime.

"The action taken in this case sends out a strong message to offenders that crime does not pay and those involved will be tracked down and put through the courts. Even after offenders have served their jail sentence, they are still required to pay their confiscation orders, plus interest."

One in 7 people knows someone living off the proceeds of crime - for more information on making criminals pay visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/payback. Or call the charity

Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org We never ask for your name or trace your call.

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