A crooked finance boss stole £700,000 from her company to fund a luxury lifestyle – including spending £114,000 on Amazon products.
Lindsay Caldicott, 52, fiddled the books for years at Lichfield -based SPA Technique Ltd, which supplies parts to Formula One racing teams.
But she was undone when the firm discovered fake invoices which allowed her to steal up to £12,000 per month for several years – losses which contributed to job cuts.
The crooked mum had splashed out on home improvements for her two homes and foreign holidays to places including Florida and Portugal.
Hidden records showed she also paid off credit card debts and blew £114,000 on Amazon products on the company MBNA card, which were delivered to her home.
Caldicott, from Poplar Gardens, Burton upon Trent, was jailed for 16 months at Stafford Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to the theft of £692,000.
Betrayed former boss Richard Barnes, 71, is chairman of SPA Technique and had worked with the trusted financial controller for 24 years.
He said: “I considered her a friend, I’m God-parent to one of her youngest daughters. Yet we discovered she was stealing at the rate of between £8,000 and £12,000 a month.
“We can only go back to 2009 as the police could only prosecute from then. But we can see losses that go far beyond that – losses in the million pound bracket.
“On a personal level I trusted her with everything I had. It’s been a wretched time, these last two and a half years.”
Office manager and financial controller Caldicott had kept the astonishing thefts hidden from the family firm, although her spending habits did sometimes raise eyebrows.
Richard said: “She changed her car almost annually which we couldn’t understand. She was eating out four times, at the weekend, she was buying new clothes every week.
“She was on £38,000 for a 30-hour week, she was well paid. But she was spending money off the scale.”
Yet it was only when a company accountant and compliance manager spotted the suspicious invoices and company credit card payments that police were called in.
It was then that forensic examination of her book-keeping discovered the full scale of her thieving, including using company cash to pay off credit card debts.
Richard said: “She became too brazen. She was running two lots of books (accounts).
“She bought a holiday home in Filey in Yorkshire and she spent £450,000 on a Barclaycard credit card and £114,000 on the MBNA card, plus large amounts of cash into her account.”
He added: “She refurbished the house in Filey. She put jacuzzi baths in her own house, she fitted it out, she built a large extension.
“In the last transactions we discovered on the Barclaycard, we found out she’d bought three Dyson hair dryers from Lewis’ on my company credit card for £940.”
The well-known company, which has a branch in America, had to bring in lawyers to seize Caldicott’s home and other assets to repay £450,000 of the stolen cash, although much of that was spent on legal fees.
Richard claimed the finance boss had never owned up to anything like the full amount stolen.
“When we confronted her (with the theft) she said that there had been a mistake and offered to pay £15,000 back,” he said.
“But by that time the forensic accountant had already found £45,000 missing, and then it leapt to £450,000 when our lawyers obtained an order from the court to see all her visible assets.
“The business suffered at the time and we had to make men redundant.
“We’re up and running now fortunately but she’s left us with this huge hole.”
Caldicott has been forced to repay back some of the stolen cash, but her former boss says he cannot forgive the crimes.
Richard added: “It’s been a trail of betrayal and deceit from end to end to be honest with you and we’re all very sad.
“Many employees lost their jobs during the last five years, yet she showed no remorse.”