Former Azzurri project manager who stole £1.3m ordered to pay back £146k
Confiscation order: Hand over entire value of assets... or face 6 years' porridge
A former project manager at Azzurri Communications who stole £1.3m from the integrator has been ordered to pay back less than 10 per cent or spend more time in the slammer.
Lee Stephen Young, 34, of Petronel Road, Aylesbury was found guilty of one count of theft from an employer at the town's Crown Court in March and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in the clink.
The court confirmed today that Young was this week slapped with an order, forcing him to repay £146,612 to Azzurri - the sum total of his assets.
"He has six months to pay the confiscation order otherwise its [an additional] two years in prison if he defaults," the clerk told us.
The ex-PM was based in the High Wycombe office - which Azzurri is closing - where he was in charge of ordering kit. But he ordered excess stock over multiple years that he then offloaded to an unknown third party.
The scam was uncovered by a supervisor who identified the stock was being sent to an address not known to be a client site. The details were passed to the cops in High Wycombe in October last year.
The Economic Crime Unit probed the allegations and found Young had benefited to a total of £1,361,721.52. They also discovered Young was trying to sell his house, and the sale was "swiftly restrained", said the ECU, which is based in Thames Valley.
"I am pleased that we were able to block the sale of Young's house, which meant at least some of the cash was paid back to the victim of this calculated crime," said ECU financial investigator Chris Yoxall.
"I hope this sends out the message that crime doesn't pay," he added.
It is not clear what the crim did with the rest of the cash haul. Young will still be required to pay back the money, even if he misses the six-month deadline and spends an extra 24 months in the clink.
An Azzurri spokesman sent us a statement:
"I can confirm that a former Azzurri employee was arrested, charged and subsequently found guilty and sentenced for a crime committed while working for Azzurri. It was Azzurri’s internal processes that detected the crime, and Azzurri who contacted the police. We worked very closely with Thames Valley Police during their investigation, providing evidence to support their successful case.
"Our systems have been modified to ensure that this could not happen again. No customers were impacted either financially or through service issues, by the actions of this individual, and we do not believe that any other individuals were involved." ®