Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fraudster Cannot Pay for Her Crimes; Dance Teacher's Bank Accounts 'Have a Balance of Nil'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fraudster Cannot Pay for Her Crimes; Dance Teacher's Bank Accounts 'Have a Balance of Nil'

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Kennedy

ADANCE teacher convicted of fraud must pay back just a fraction of her ill-gotten gains.

Emma Walker, who ran a dance school in Northumberland before becoming a recruitment consultant, tricked a man into quitting his career by offering him a job which didn't exist in Norway.

She racked up a bill for PS11,000 on a company credit card as part of the scam and was given a suspended prison sentence in March.

Now Walker has been back before Newcastle Crown Court as prosecutors tried to claw back some of her proceeds of crime.

However the court heard she has no money in the bank and her only asset is a car, which will only raise PS300.

Walker must pay that PS300, and more of the PS11,000 may be taken off her if she comes into any assets in the future. She must also pay the victim of the scam, Stephen Clark, PS450 compensation.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: "The defendant had promised, as part of her work with a recruitment agency, a job to a man who had given up his existing position and he went to Norway before he found out there was no job for him.

"As well as using the company credit card to fund the Norway trip she also used it for her own purposes, to buy white goods and to cover the cost of her rent and other matters."

Mr Bunch said Walker benefited from her crimes to the tune of PS11,158 but her only asset is the PS300 tied up in a Ford Ka.

Mr Bunch said: "Her bank accounts are overdrawn or have a nil balance, the only asset she has is the car."

The convicted dance school fraudster was working for a recruitment agency when she was asked by job-hunter Mr Clark to find him new employment in the offshore industry.

Walker claimed to have found the car dealership after-sales manager a job on an oil rig in Norway, however no such job existed.

But Mr Clark was so convinced the offer was genuine, he quit his job at Audi when Walker contacted him to say his contract was ready. …

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