Husband and wife who ‘abused their position’ sentenced for £95k fraud against their former Grimsby employer

Matthew Payne, sentenced to 26-months in prison at Lincoln Crown Court
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A husband and wife who “skimmed” money from company accounts, overpaying themselves by more than £95,000, have been sentenced.

Matthew, 53, and Debra Payne, 52, of Chalk Lane, Withern, Alford, appeared at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday, June 21. This followed their guilty plea to two counts of fraud by false representation against their Grimsby-based ex-employer.

Matthew received a 26-month custodial sentence, while his wife Debra received a 22-month suspended sentence. The court heard how, over the course of several years, the couple had skimmed notable sums of money from corporate accounts, which they had been entrusted to manage as part of their managerial and accounting roles, overpaying themselves more than £95,000.


The discovery was made after the pair left the company to set up their own business, when the victim accessed their laptops and delved deeper into the accounts. The victim raised concerns to the police in March of 2020.

A thorough financial investigation followed by Lincolnshire Police's Criminal Investigation Department, which uncovered the full extent of their deceit. DC Garbutt, who led the investigation, said: “Both Mr and Mrs Payne abused their position within the company for their own gain.

“This caused significant disruption and upset to both the victim’s business and personal life. This was a lengthy investigation, but has resulted in justice for the victim, demonstrating Lincolnshire Police’s commitment to tackling fraud within our county.”

A separate hearing is to be held at a later date to consider the potential recovery and/or confiscation of assets gained from their criminality under The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.