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UK — Managing Director bought kitchen instead of paying workers

01 September 2009

The Managing Director of a Norfolk recruitment agency paid for a fitted kitchen and new windows out of company funds instead of paying casual workers, a court heard on Friday, Norfolk News report.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Christine Lewiss fleeced nine members of staff to the tune of £11,000.

During that time her company, Rail Recruit UK Ltd, paid her husband £37,000 while £6,500 was withdrawn to fund the home improvements.

The details emerged as the 44-year-old appealed against an order to compensate her former employees in full. Lewiss, who now lives off benefits after the company was wound up, pleaded poverty and said she could not afford to pay up.

But Judge Paul Downes rejected this bid, although he did reduce the compensation order from £11,187 to the net sum £8,450 as the priority was for the "workers not the taxpayer" to get their money back.

Lewiss has previous convictions for dishonesty and obtaining money by deception. The appeal came after she was convicted of nine counts of withholding money from workers at Yarmouth Magistrates Court.



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