May 5, 2023 3 min read


Ex-Employee Forced to Sell Assets to Pay $2M Gambling Fraud Debt

The gambling addict benefited from £1,653,672 ($2,084,312) over a number of years

Karen Brailsford, a former employee of Derbyshire firm Urban Design and Development, has been ordered to sell her house, Mercedes car, personalized number plate, and designer goods to pay back a portion of the £1.6 million ($2 million) that she stole from her employer. 

Former Employee Forced to Sell Assets to Pay for Fraudulent Actions

Financial investigators at Derbyshire police discovered that the 53-year-old only has £130,314.59 ($164,242) left to her name, which will come from the sale of the items she still owns, The Derbyshire Telegraph reported. The Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) allows the police to seize cash from criminals who have made their money from illegal gains. In this case, the judge ordered the sum to be paid as compensation to her former employer. If Brailsford comes into money later in life that she does not currently have, police can still apply to have it seized.

At her sentencing hearing last year, it was revealed that Brailsford falsified invoices to fund her gambling impulses. At its peak, she took £300,000 ($378,106) from the company in one year, and she had already taken £29,000 ($36,542) in 2021 before being caught. 

Brailsford claimed her actions were an error, but the directors were unsatisfied with her response. When confronted, Brailsford confessed to what she had been doing and that she had been stealing from them for some time. Brailsford pleaded guilty to a single count of fraud by abuse of position, telling the police that she was desperate for the money, which was why she did it in such an obvious way.

Woman Steals from Company to Fund Gambling Addiction and Buy Holiday Caravans

Police found that Brailsford had spent £298,867.36 ($376,658) on gambling, sent some of the money to her children, and bought two-holiday caravans. 

The company’s managing director, Mr. Dawson, stated that the business had lost out financially and that he had struggled to keep his work and home life separate because of the incident. 

According to Nicola Hornby, who was representing Brailsford, there were no significant assets that could be traced and Brailsford had nothing to present as evidence. She also noted that Brailsford had made admissions when charged, had been suffering from depression, for which she takes medication, and that her imprisonment would have an impact on her children and elderly father.

When sentencing Brailsford, recorder Tim Spruce acknowledged that her methods were not unsophisticated and that she had access to critical financial control. He noted that Brailsford had planned the fraud to go unnoticed and ordered her to sell her assets to repay her former employer.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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