The former general sales manager at Brother, David York, was jailed last week for 18 months for masterminding a stolen stock racket.
The majority of the stolen hardware was demonstration or obsolete kit that should have been returned to the vendor's headquarters. But York, who had an estimated #70,000 a year salary, a company car and BUPA membership, colluded with an executive salesman, Gregory Dalziel, to run a secret sideline in stolen printers.
It was claimed that Brother 'turned a blind eye' to the theft of equipment by its own employees and that the company's stock control was 'non-existent'.
The theft came to light after a finance director - appointed in 1997 - found there were no stock records and that staff theft was 'rife'.
York and Dalziel were arrested in November 1997. Their bank accounts showed that York received #77,000 for the sale of printers and Dalziel #35,000. In an interview, York told the police: 'I did it because of pure greed.' After losing his job, York worked in Qatar, earning #120 a week.
The judge told York: 'You had been a sales executive and moved up the ladder to general manager, a position of trust. This offence was greed, because at the time you were in a responsible position and on a substantial salary. You exploited the system in a way that produced significant losses for the company.'
York and Dalziel, who received 12 months' imprisonment, admitted the theft of Brother printers between 1 November 1995 and 30 June 1997. The court heard York had previous convictions for taking cars and drink driving in 1973, plus theft and obtaining property by deception in 1997.
Ted Nicholls, managing director of Brother, said: 'Fraudulent behaviour is serious and we are pleased this has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.'
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