Employee jailed for stealing £457K from Gatwick parking firm

Court news
Court news

A woman has been sentenced to five years in prison after stealing almost half a million pounds from her employer which ran Gatwick Airport’s long and short term public car parks.

Ghazala Ashraf was found guilty of three charges of theft and one of transferring criminal property following a trial at Lewes Crown Court, said a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman.

The thefts took place between August 2010 and November 2012 when she was employed by APCOA (UK) Ltd. as an accounts manager.

A CPS spokesman said: “Following an audit, it became clear that the amount the car parks were generating in revenue had been under reported and not all of the cash generated was being banked. On average, around £1,000 a day in bank notes was being retained and in total, £457,196.77 was stolen.”

When a search was carried out of Ashraf’s house in Horleyi n January 2013, almost £5,000 in cash was found.

Evidence was also found that money had been spent on clothing, electrical goods and a number of foreign trips, with Ashraf funding her daughter’s wedding.

Jaswant Narwal, chief Crown prosecutor for CPS South East, said: “Ashraf systemically stole from her company, after they employed her to manage the financial affairs of their Gatwick office. She was responsible for overseeing the counting of the cash generated by the car parks, which is around £60 million, and the banking of that cash. Her company relied on the accuracy of the data she was responsible for submitting to them and, as such, she was in a highly respectable position and her dishonesty was a huge breach of the trust placed in her.”

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