A dance teacher convicted of fraud must pay back just a fraction of her ill-gotten gains.
Emma Walker, who ran a dance school in Northumberland before becoming a recruitment consultant, tricked a man into quitting his career by offering him a job which didn’t exist in Norway.
She racked up a bill for £11,000 on a company credit card as part of the scam and was given a suspended prison sentence in March.
Now Walker has been back before Newcastle Crown Court as prosecutors tried to claw back some of her proceeds of crime.
However the court heard she has no money in the bank and her only asset is a car, which will only raise £300.
Walker must pay that £300, and more of the £11,000 may be taken off her if she comes into any assets in the future. She must also pay the victim of the scam, Stephen Clark, £450 compensation.
Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “The defendant had promised, as part of her work with a recruitment agency, a job to a man who had given up his existing position and he went to Norway before he found out there was no job for him.
“As well as using the company credit card to fund the Norway trip she also used it for her own purposes, to buy white goods and to cover the cost of her rent and other matters.”
Mr Bunch said Walker benefited from her crimes to the tune of £11,158 but her only asset is the £300 tied up in a Ford Ka.
Mr Bunch said: “Her bank accounts are overdrawn or have a nil balance, the only asset she has is the car.”
The convicted dance school fraudster was working for a recruitment agency when she was asked by job-hunter Mr Clark to find him new employment in the offshore industry.
Walker claimed to have found the car dealership after-sales manager a job on an oil rig in Norway, however no such job existed.
But Mr Clark was so convinced the offer was genuine, he quit his job at Audi when Walker contacted him to say his contract was ready.
He then flew to Norway, where he remained for two weeks while Walker continued to fool him and made excuses. Eventually Mr Clark’s wife contacted the recruitment firm Walker was working for, and when they checked their files they found they had no record of Mr Clark.
It then turned out Walker had forged the signature of her boss on the bogus contract she had given Mr Clark.
She also used a company credit card to pay for her victim’s trip to Scandinavia and to pay her own rent, bills and to buy a washing machine, racking up a bill of £11,000 – £3,000 of which she spent on herself.
Walker was convicted of fraud in 2011 after conning parents into believing their children were going to Disneyland Paris for a dance competition. It also emerged she failed to declare that conviction while setting up a dance school in Shiremoor, North Tyneside.
Walker, who continues to run dance schools in Cowgate, Newcastle and West Allotment, North Tyneside, even forged a Criminal Records Bureau certificate while setting up the Shiremoor class.
Despite pleading guilty to three counts of fraud, Walker walked free from court with a suspended prison sentence. Walker, 22, of Harrogate Court, Ashington, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud and was given nine months’ prison, suspended for two years, with 100 hours of unpaid work and supervision.
Walker was given a conditional discharge in July 2011 for fraud by abuse of position while running Just Dance, in Ashington.
She planned a trip to Disneyland for a competition and asked parents to provide a £10 deposit. No trip happened but Walker denied stealing the money, which was recovered, saying it was in her house.