Judge warns lengthy jail term awaits habitual fraudster Helen Hart
A COMPANY secretary is facing a lengthy prison sentence after admitting she cheated her boss out of nearly £400,000 to fund a millionaire lifestyle.
Helen Maria Hart, 45, of Alexandra Road, Illogan, used stolen company cheques to buy luxury cars, premiership football tickets and to charter a private jet to Paris and Cardiff.
She admitted conning PDP Green Consulting Ltd, based at Truro Technology Park, Heron Way, between October 2005, and May 2011.
The hearing at Truro Crown Court finally brought an end to her seven-year spending spree at the expense of the architecture and engineering firm.
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Judge John Neligan warned the former secretary, who wore a black suit and 4in heels at Monday's hearing, that a prison sentence was inevitable.
She was released on conditional bail until March 1.
Jo Martin, prosecuting for the CPS, said the main charge was of stealing £380,000 from the firm between October 2005 and May 2012.
Hart admitted this, but on the basis that she actually stole £190,000, which prosecutors accepted on the grounds that it would not affect the length of jail term to be imposed.
The former secretary, who joined the firm in 1994 as its administrator, spent £6,000 hiring a private jet to take her from Exeter to Paris and £7,800 to stay at the luxury Bovey Castle hotel on Dartmoor.
She also spent £4,800 on tickets and hospitality for a Chelsea v Manchester City game.
She also abused her position by using the company chequebook to pay for renovations worth £31,400 carried out by Roseland Restorations on a property she intended to buy.
Hart admitted using the money on rent, £2,000 on a luxury kitchen, £5,000 on 48 bottles of wine, paying her South West Water and Marks & Spencer shopping bills, and even £2,000 on court judgement costs.
She also admitted buying luxury cars such as a Porsche Boxster, BMW X5 and Range Rover, and using a Coutts & Co bank account to buy a £46,500 Mercedes.
The court heard the firm "was still solvent" thanks to the actions of the firm's directors and its bank.