Abbi Mae Jowers, 25 years, of Cliffe Park Crescent, Leeds, has received a two-year suspended prison sentence after ordering animal medications under the name of her employer, Vets4Pets, and selling them online for personal profit.
Jowers worked at the practice on Hookstone Chase in Harrogate since July 2017 and was previously on the nursing team before moving to reception. Jowers was often responsible for making orders for medications and supplies through wholesalers but unknown to her employer she was purchasing large quantities of additional stock. Jowers was then removing these extra items from the premises in black bin liners and selling them through her eBay account.
Her employer became suspicious when a large delivery of items arrived on a day that Jowers was off work and she noticed a number of products which the practice did not normally purchase.
It was assumed that the products had been delivered in error so they were returned to the supplier but shortly afterwards it became apparent that Jowers was making telephone orders instead of following the usual digital ordering process.
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Upon making further investigations, Jowers’ employer was shocked to discover many unauthorised orders had been made and products received but not recorded as stock and could not be found anywhere on site. The missing stock was reported to North Yorkshire Police and the investigation began.
It became apparent that between 2 January and 11 April 2018, stock to the value of £17,601.98 had been ordered and stolen by Jowers after the wholesalers confirmed the date and time of orders matched the times Jowers had been working at the practice.
On Friday 13th September 2019, Jowers received a two year suspended sentence at York Crown Court and was ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work. A Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceeding will now commence to recover the money Jowers stole from her employer.
North Yorkshire Police Officer, Detective Constable Abigail Garford, said:
“Jowers’ crimes not only caused significant economic damage but also stress and strain on the owner of this small business. She abused the trust of her employer and stole a large amount of products over a period of several months before she was discovered.
“She has shown little remorse and continued to deny her offences throughout the case so I am pleased the case has now been concluded. The Proceeds of Crime Act ensures that not only will criminals face conviction in the courts but that the money they have stolen can also be recovered.”