An IT manager who swindled the company he worked for out of more than £127,000 was exposed when he ran up a £32,000 phone bill.
Simon Rey, 40, claims he defrauded the Money Advice Group to fund an 'extravagant lifestyle' for a woman he was involved with and alleges was 'violent' towards him.
But he also lavished expensive goods on himself, including a TV and computer, as well as using company money to pay for his drinking and gambling.
Prosecuting, Christopher Beckwith said that a phone bill of £32,489.76 in April 2015 ‘raised some eyebrows’ within the company, as the bill for the previous month was £6,800.
Mr Beckwith said that of the £32,489.76 bill, about £23,000 was wracked up by Rey who was in Thailand at the time, the MEN reports.
Rey, from Deeside, was interviewed by police and admitted ordering property on behalf of the company but keeping it for himself.
Profits at the firm at the end of the 2015 financial year had been £7m, but in the year ending in June 2016, the firm posted a loss of more than £363,000.
Investigators found that IT manager Rey had benefited to the tune of £127,000, but his defence barrister at Minshull Street crown court in Manchester said this was only a 'ballpark figure'.
Timothy Storrie added Rey was living in an 'emotional powderkeg', being physically and verbally abused by the woman he was involved with.
He added: “Spending other people’s money became a chief strategy to try to get out of this situation."
He said Rey had assured a woman he had been involved with that he would pay for her ‘extravagant lifestyle’ after she lost her job.
Sentencing Rey of Nant Road, Connah’s Quay, Deeside, to 20 months in prison, Judge Mark Savill said: “This was a significant period of time in which you committed this offence.”