Refund scam sees hotel manager jailed

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The assistant manager of a hotel in Bournemouth has been jailed for 27 months after he was found to have stolen £26,000.

Thomas Lees was brought before Bournemouth Crown Court in November where he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft. He was sentenced last Friday.

An audit revealed that Lees had been using fake refunds to steal from the Cumberland Hotel in East Overcliffe Drive for over two years. Using other staff member’s names to carry out the transactions unnoticed, he had been refunding ficticious bottles of spirits and other high value items and pocketing the cash himself.

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It was also discovered that Lees had carried out the same offence while he worked at the Suncliffe sister hotel for a period of six weeks in July 2012.

Police searched his accommodation and found £4,000 in casino bags.

Speaking to the North Devon Gazette, detective constable Karen Penn, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Lees used his position at the hotel to defraud his employers of a large amount of money over a sustained period. He clearly thought he was going to get away with it.

“I hope the sentence handed to Lees sends out a very strong message.”

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