Martin Foley, a manager at Waitrose, was recently charged for stealing about 1,000 items from the store he worked at, and then peddling them on eBay.
Among the items that were retrieved from Foley included Ipods, as well as different electronics. Foley’s Ebay operation went on for about 6 years, and earned him around £25,000. However, Foley was caught and was sentenced to jail for 9 months.
The prosecutor for the case Lisa Hennessy said that Foley was a trusted employee. However, last September, a whistle blower in the form of another staff member decided to come forward with the information.
Fraud investigators set up a trap for the Waitrose manager by bidding on one of his online auctions. When the investigators won the item, which was incidentally an Ipod, they verified the serial number and found that it belonged to the Waitrose stock.
Apparently, the manager managed to conceal the items by placing them in store plastic bags and then transferring them in his car. The crime was apparently committed because the Waitrose manager was said to be in debt. Until then, he was reported to be someone who had no criminal record, and with good character.
The defence attorney reasoned that the defendant’s financial troubles began when his wife suddenly became pregnant and was forced to give up work. Naturally, the debt put Mr. Foley in a high pressure and desperate situation. While Mr. Foley started out selling items on eBay honestly, he eventually ran out of items to sell and had to resort to selling the store’s stock.
After the trial was wrapped up ad his sentence served, Mr. Foley managed to find a part-time position in BHS. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the whole debacle was that Martin Foley still received somewhat favourable references from the store.