Tell us where your stolen money is

Wendy Nichols at an earlier hearing
Wendy Nichols at an earlier hearing

About £1m out of more than £1.5m stolen by the finance manager of a Kettering firm has yet to be identified during a police investigation.

Wendy Nichols, 49, was jailed earlier this year after she admitted siphoning off the cash from warehousing and logistics firm Logistex over six years.

Wendy Nichols arriving at Northampton Crown Court for an earlier hearing

Wendy Nichols arriving at Northampton Crown Court for an earlier hearing

She had spent the money on luxuries like cosmetic surgery, expensive holidays, buying cars for family members and paying for her two daughters to attend private boarding schools.

She covered her tracks by altering spreadsheets and company records but was caught out when a colleague noticed an unusual transaction in the company’s accounts.

Nichols was jailed for five-and-a-half years in May and the courts ordered that proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act should begin to try to claw back some of the money.

Nichols appeared through a video link at Northampton Crown Court from HMP Peterborough, where she is serving her sentence, on Thursday, August 29.

Prosecution barrister Jenna Allen said the police had so far identified about £500,000 of assets which could potentially be seized from Nichols.

This included more than £12,000 in cash, property in the names of one of Nichols’ daughters, equity in a home under the name of her ex-husband, property held in Nichols’ own name and money paid over the years to someone named in court as Samantha Jolliffe.

The details of the property identified was not discussed at Thursday’s hearing – but in May Northampton Crown Court was told that among the items bought by Nichols were a BMW Mini and BMW X3 for her daughters and a flat in Glasgow which cost more than £200,000.

Recorder William Mousley was told that Nichols had not complied with an order to explain where the remaining £1m had been spent.

However, speaking over the video link, Nichols said she did not know anything about the order, called a section 18 statement.

He ordered Nichols to complete the document, detailing any purchases of more than £500 made between August 2006 and October 2012, by September 19.

Recorder Mousley added: “If you are not co-operating, it may very well work against you.”

Nichols said she did not have bank statements going back that far.

Nichols’ proceeds of crime case is due to be heard again at Northampton Crown Court on October 16.