Woman stole £600k from her parents’ company to fund husband’s rival firm

Mrs Purchase stole money from her parents’ company (Picture: Facebook/ Aimee Purchase)

A woman who stole £600,000 from her parents’ company has been jailed for fraud.

Aimee Purchase, 36 and husband Rikki, 38, defrauded MI Engineering Ltd , an engineering company owned by her mum and dad Ian and Yvonne Skidmore.

She stole the money from her parents, after Mr Purchase put her under pressure to commit the crime, so he could fund a rival business.

Judge Jim Tindal told Shrewbury Crown Court: ‘Aimee Purchase was part of her family’s business and she took the opportunity to effectively defraud that business.

‘One of the drivers for it was that Rikki Purchase was keen to set up a similar business and he is responsible for taking just shy of £200,000.

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‘It is perfectly obvious to me that Aimee Purchase used her position to siphon the funds under the influence or pressure from her husband.

‘She was the only one who had access to the money.’

The couple from Much Wenlock, Shropshire, were arrested in 2015.

Police officers discovered that the money had been either paid into the name of Monster Tuning Limited, or credited to accounts belonging to Aimee and Rikki Purchase.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, from Warwickshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: ‘Enquiries revealed that the money stolen from MI Engineering Limited had been used to fund the couple’s lifestyle and also to support Rikki Purchase’s company Monster Tuning Limited.’

Woman stole £600,000 from her parents' company to fund husband's rival business
Mr Purchase pleaded not-guilty at first (Picture: Facebook/ Rikki Purchase)

Prosecutor Charles Hamer told the court how Mrs Purchases pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of a position of trust in April, causing a loss to the company of £667,175.71.

Mr Hamer said: ‘The plea was under the Fraud Act but not all of it would have been related to her criminality. Her figure came down to about £570,000.

‘Ultimately Rikki Purchase pleaded guilty and the total cash converted by him was £191,620.98.’

Mr Purchase originally pleaded not-guilty to a money-laundering charge.

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But he later changed his plea, which resulted to the pair being sentenced together in relation to the case.

Mrs Purchase was jailed for 32 months and Mr Purchase was handed a two year suspended sentence.

Both now face having to pay some of their ill-gotten gains back.

More: UK

The judge said he had received a letter from Mrs Skidmore who believed her daughter had been put up to the crime.

Judge Tindal said: ‘You take a significant amount of responsibility for what happened and you have pleaded guilty to quite a different offence than your wife.

‘The main reason I’m suspending the sentence is due to the welfare of the children.

‘You must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work in the community and attend rehabilitation 15 activity days with probation.’

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