Provident Personal Credit Ltd v Sharon Walkden – Employee Fraud – Private Prosecution

Edmonds Marshall McMahon brought a successful prosecution against Ms Sharon Walkden at Plymouth Crown Court for a number of offences contrary to the Fraud Act 2006 and Theft Act 1986, committed against her employer, Provident Personal Credit Limited.

Provident Financial is the largest weekly collected credit company in Europe with over 1.7 million customers throughout the United Kingdom and is licensed under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Between 4 April 2013 and 29 July 2013, a 4 month period, Ms Walkden acting in her capacity as a loans agent for Provident abused her position of trust by persuading a number of customers, all whom she knew, to take out loans in their own names, when in fact monies were retained by Ms Walkden for her own use, thus concealing from Provident that the loans were in fact for her own benefit. She also stole monies that she claimed to be holding as part of her “handyfloat” and loan repayments from customers that should have been paid to Provident.

The total capital loss suffered by Provident amounted to £11,410.

Ms Walkden was prosecuted before the Plymouth Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years for an offence of Fraud contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006; 4 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years for an offence of theft contrary to section 1 of the Theft Act 1968, and 4 months imprisonment suspended for 2 years, for further Theft Act offences, all to be served concurrently.

Ms Walkden was also sentenced to an unpaid work requirement of 100 hours to be completed within 12 months, and was ordered to pay compensation of £5,000 to be paid at a rate of £200 per calendar month.