Lettings administrator who stole over £14,000 in deposits is spared jail

A lettings administrator who stole over £14,000 in tenants’ deposits has escaped jail.

Julie Feilden, 51, stole the money over a six-year period, and has now been given a six-month prison sentence suspended for two years. She has also been ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and pay £1,250 costs. She admitted 13 charges.

She was employed by Smiths Gore in Newmarket, Suffolk, where her job involved collecting tenants’ deposits. Where cash was accepted, this had to be logged and put in the stationery store under lock and key. Feilden had the keys to the store, and part of her job was to bank the money and do the paperwork for the deposits.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that in 2015 there were redundancies, which included Feilden’s role. At the end of the year, the business was sold to Savills.

Despite being made redundant, she asked to take the books home with her in order to get them up to date.

It took several months to retrieve these books, and it was then that the thefts were discovered.

When Feilden, who has no previous convictions, was interviewed by police she made full admissions, the court was told.

Feilden, who represented herself, told the court she was “very sorry” for what she had done.

Savills acquired 31-branch agent Smiths Gore in 2015 for a staggered payment of up to £40m. The announcement at the time said that Smiths Gore had an unaudited revenue of £30.8m and gross assets of £14.9m, with profit before tax and partners’ drawings at £6.3m.

A spokesman for Savills said: “Savills can confirm that Julie Feilden was an employee of Smiths Gore, based in its Newmarket high street office from 2010-2015 when these offences took place.

“Smiths Gore was subsequently acquired by Savills.

“No clients suffered a loss as a consequence.”


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  1. eltell

    So Ms Feilden is £12,750 up on the deal then. Who said crime doesn’t pay?

    1. Bless You

      Not sure why letting agents even need to see the £££ of deposits now DPS has been created. Tenants shoudl pay straight into it. 
      Sick of all agents being smurred by a few corrupt/ desperate people. 

      1. ajayjagota75

        Ever wondered why of the £3.5 billion held in current deposit schemes why £2.3 billion are held under the supposed “insured” scheme?

  2. Robert May

    It seems reasonable that unpaid work is calculated at minimum wage then rounded up for good measure. There are not many jobs where its possible to earn £14k for 3 weeks work

  3. smile please

    To be fair to the judge we do not know if she has paid the 14k back and no doubt she will (rightfully) be footing the legal costs.

    1. ajayjagota75

      according to another report – She had not!

      1. smile please

        Well in that case lets put her in stocks in the market square. (and the judge too!)

  4. Skyhorse595

    I think 13 charges of theft over SIX years is more than a moment of madness by someone of good character. I’m not quibbling over the sentence particularly but baffled by the lack of checks and balances internally. Did the company accountant/auditor go to Specsavers?

    1. ajayjagota75

      Not only did the company accountant need to got to Specsavers but also the company in question was a member of ARLA – then was said company was acquired by Savills (another ARLA memeber), and even after going through due dillignece the theft still wasn’t spotted until some time after! 

  5. ringi

    Why did the auditors not find this?  

    1. ajayjagota75

      Which Auditors?
      the original company?
      or Savills?
      Oh not to mention the actual deposit scheme provider who are under licence to DCLG?


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