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  1. ITV Report

Swindon salesman cons almost a quarter of a million pounds from Oak Furniture Land

Credit: ITV West Country

A salesman and six others have been jailed after conning nearly a quarter of a million pounds from Oak Furniture Land.

Aaron Kennett, also known as Jack, was an employee at the store on Avening Street in Swindon.

While working at the shop he provided friends and others 'free money' by providing them refunds for sales that did not exist.

Investigations found the group was then using the stolen money to pay for holidays around the world and funding gambling habits.

Ringleader Aaron Kennet was sentenced to four years and six months in prison Credit: Wiltshire Police

The 28-year-old fraudulently issued refunds on bank cards between August 2014 and September 2015.

Originally 34 people in Swindon were arrested or summonsed, nine were released with no further action, five given cautions, and six were issued with suspended sentences, fines and community orders.

Ringleader Kennett was charged with fraud by abuse of position and conspiracy to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer criminal property (Conspiracy to money laundering).

He pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison.

The six others were all charged in connection with conspiracy to money launder.

  • Jamie Nichols, 26 from Egdon Close - Community order to carry out 40 hours unpaid work and victim compensation of £3704.
  • Amara Holgate, 21 from Courtenay Road - Community order to carry out 60 hours unpaid work and victim compensation of £60.
  • Connor Satchell, 25 from Devizes Road - Community order to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and victim compensation of £60.
  • Lewis Maynard, 26 from Conisborough - Community order to carry out 100 hours unpaid work and victim compensation of £2400.
  • Luke Paterson, 29 from from Whitehill Close, Ramsbury - 24 months imprisonment suspended for 24 months.
  • Chelsea Drayton, 25 from Whitehill Close, Ramsbury - Community order to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and victim compensation of £60.

Kennett admitted taking a total of £213,447.17 from the company.

Kennett and the others shamelessly funded lifestyles that they would not usually have been able to lead enjoying travel abroad, expensive goods, hotels and holiday spending money. Photos and phone records show that in some instances various members of this conspiracy even took holidays together.

What must have seemed like ‘easy money’ resulted in being under police investigation, job losses, personal finances being analysed, a criminal record, fines and community orders incorporating unpaid work.

– DC Bev Mobey, Wiltshire Police

Five others are due to be sentenced on 12 July at Swindon Crown Court.