Visit Isle of Wight’s former finance officer, Mrs Joanne Thornton, pleaded guilty in the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to fraud and theft charges.
An audit of the company’s finances earlier in the year revealed that the 55 year old had abused her position, committing fraud and theft to the tune of £33,874.
Wife of former CEO
Mrs Thornton, the wife of former CEO of Visit Isle of Wight, David Thornton, formerly lived in Freshwater.
However, she told the court this week that she’d now moved to Sheffield.
She answered to two charges; the first of committing fraud between April 2013 and March 2018 by transferring £18,961 from the company; the second, a charge of ‘theft by an employee’ between April 2016 and April 2018 where she’s reported as stealing cash to the value of £14,913.
Visit Isle of Wight called police
Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd said:
“I can confirm that following an internal audit earlier this year, some financial irregularities came to light which were referred to the Police.
“This resulted in a Police investigation, and a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Reassurance to WightBID levy payers
Mr Myles went on to say,
“I would like to assure WightBID levy payers that their BID contributions were unaffected and this money has been used in full to deliver the agreed WightBID plan.”
Sentencing will take place at the Isle of Wight Crown Court on 16th November 2018.