England

Gateshead accountant jailed for £1.3m theft

An accountant who stole more than £1.3m from her employers has been jailed for four years.

Tracy Laws, 46, from Gateshead, worked for Inchcape PLC, a holding company for several car dealerships in the North East of England.

Teesside Crown Court heard she used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle for nearly 10 years.

Laws was caught when staff found records of a £25,000 cheque which was paid to riding stables she had bought.

In addition, she bought luxury holidays, time shares and cars.

The judge said her behaviour was a gross abuse of trust and that Laws stole an "astronomical sum of money" to lead an "extravagant lifestyle".

Her former husband John Laws was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his involvement in her crimes.

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