Rochdale company gives employees day off to watch former financial director jailed for stealing £1.5million

By Olivia Parry

The former colleagues of a gambling addict who stole £1.5million from the company where he worked as financial director were given the day off to see him jailed yesterday.

Graham Taylor, 65, had abused his position to siphon off £1,553,636 to fund his gambling habit.

And his former colleagues were given the day off with full pay to see him sentenced to five years at Bolton Crown Court.

Taylor, of Hanover Street, Castleton, had previously pleaded guilty to four offences of theft and two offences of fraud by abuse of position at Rochdale engineering company Nema Ltd.

Detective Constable Deborah Jameson, of Rochdale CID, said: “Such was the scale of the financial disaster unleashed on this unsuspecting company by Taylor that they had to lay staff off.

“So, not only did his self-serving greed impact on the company’s balance books, but it had a human impact too.

“Losing your job under any circumstance can be traumatic, but to know it was the deliberate actions of a desperate gambler must make it so much worse.”

Taylor worked for the company for 12 years, and initially it was a profitable firm turning over an average of £3million a year.

However in 2008 it began making a loss, and it was Taylor who suggested to the managing director that there may need to be job cuts.

Three members of staff were laid off but the company continued to lose money.

It was only when a firm of accountants were brought in to examine the books in November 2010 that Taylor confessed he had been stealing money to fund his gambling addiction. He was subsequently arrested.  

He also admitted stealing £17,000 from the estate of his late mother – but blamed another family member for the thefts.

Detective Constable Jameson added: “Not only is that crime bad enough but to go on after this and steal money from the account of his late mother when he was entrusted by her and the family to deal with her will accordingly, is shocking.

“Due to his actions, he has disgraced the wishes of his mother, leaving her grandchildren with no inheritance. The hurt he has caused has affected all of his extended family but I am sure with the support they have given each other, they can move on.”      

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