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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Bride stole £170,000 from her boss for lavish dream wedding... but was rumbled when she invited HIM

-Mother-of-one entertained guests with a magician, harpist and two bands
-Treated herself to a £1,500 jewel-encrusted iPad case
-Employer had already increased Lane's wages after she pleaded poverty

By Louise Boyle

Indulgent: Kirsty Lane, pictured with husband Graham, planned her dream wedding at a Tudor-built hall and laid on a free bar for guests along with two bands and a fireworks display

A bride paid for her lavish wedding - including two bands, a free bar and a fireworks display - with the £168,000 she had stolen from her boss.

Kirsty Lane, 29, only aroused the suspicions of her former employer when she invited him to her no- expenses spared big day.

Lane stole the money from the company in Leyland, Lancashire where she'd worked for four years by falsifying invoices in her role as a part-time accounts clerk.

Her former boss Peter Sutton said today that her 'unbridled greed' had almost ruined the business.

Mr Sutton, from Preston, said two people lost their jobs because of the ordeal.

He said: 'It was like she was rubbing our faces in it. It was the wedding that first started to raise alarm bells.

'Up to that point we had no idea. She was always claiming poverty and didn't do anything that would tip us off.

'Then the wedding was the most lavish thing I've ever seen. I trusted her implicitly and this was how she repaid us.'

The mother-of-one admitted to 122 counts of fraud at Leyland Magistrates' Court for stealing from audio visual company Pure AV where she worked until January.

The court heard how she used the stolen money to fund her dream wedding earlier this year to fiance Graham at the Tudor-built Great Hall at Mains venue, in Little Singleton, near Blackpool.

She laid on a fireworks show, harpist, saxophone player, magician, two bands, a DJ, free bar, face painting and even bought elaborate feathered masks for all her guests.

She purchased bridesmaids dresses using company accounts and even bought a lavish £1,500 jewel-encrusted case for her iPad.

My big fraudulent wedding: Kirsty Lane and her bridesmaids show off some bizarre matching Uggs at the ceremony in Lancashire

Sealed with a kiss: The couple's lavish wedding took place at Mains venue in Little Singleton, near Blackpool

Lane pleaded guilty to ten counts of fraud worth a total of £38,000 and asked for a further 112 counts of fraud to be taken into consideration.

Mr Sutton said he did not suspect anything was amiss until he and colleagues attended the function and were shocked at how 'elaborate' the celebrations were.

Days after the wedding, while Lane was off enjoying a 'mini-moon' in the Lake District, Mr Sutton said a routine problem with an account set off alarm bells about financial discrepancies which made him look more closely at the accounts.

He found Lane had been using real invoices to existing suppliers to make payments into her own bank account for more than two years.

Rolling in it: The bride's dream wedding was funded by false invoices that she paid into her bank account

It took two months to uncover the full extent of the deception. Lane was arrested at her home in Adlington as she was preparing to go on a longer honeymoon to Mexico.

Mr Sutton said: 'If she had been in work when the problem surfaced she would have been able to hide it like she had for so long.

'But because I was already getting suspicious, it all started to come out. It was a very clever, incredibly devious operation that was calculated to the nth degree.

No expense spared: Canapes were served at the reception, along with Buck's Fizz amid ornate flower displays

'You read about these things but you never think it will happen to you. It caused a lot of sleepless nights. We are not a large company, a lot of livelihoods depend on us.

'How it didn't sink us I don't know. It is only through the sheer determination of the rest of the team that we are still here.'

Mr Sutton said the company even loaned Lane £7,000 and increased her wages after she complained she was struggling financially, despite stealing thousands.

Lane refused to comment when asked for her response at her home in Adlington.

She has been bailed to appear at Leyland Magistrates' Court on October 13 ahead of sentencing at Preston Crown Court later.



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