Lavish life of Leeds accountant who stole from her firm

Dale Ballance.
Dale Ballance.
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During her time as an accountant Dale Ballance became a trusted employee, even persuading her bosses to give her a payrise to £50,000 a year.

However behind the scenes she abused the trust placed in her by making cheques out to herself, even while her firm Moda in Pelle was struggling financially.

Dale Ballance

Dale Ballance

The court heard Ballance benefited to the tune of £314,671 as a result of her criminal activity. Katherine Robinson, prosecuting, said Ballance had sizable assets worth £146,421.

Ballance began working for the company as management accountant in 2008, with a starting salary on £40,000.

She was also allowed to carry on operating her private accountancy firm at the same time.

The deception enabled her to buy a half share in a racehorse called Sharadiyn for her husband. She also paid for a lavish wedding which included a ring-bearing owl called Olly and seven bridesmaids in what was described by the prosecution as a “lavish and decadent affair.”

LAVISH LIFESTYLE: Dale Ballance bought a horse with  the money.

LAVISH LIFESTYLE: Dale Ballance bought a horse with the money.

Ballance also bought two wedding dresses and had no idea how much either of them cost

The deception came to light when she left the company after her employers refused to give her another pay rise.

Ballance continued to deny the offending and claimed the money was part of a secret bonus system’ which had been set up by her employers.

Judge Guy Kearl, QC, ordered that Ballance should pay the sum within three months.

She was warned that her sentence could be extended by up to 12 months if the amount was not paid within that period.

She also accused her former bosses of committing perjury when they gave evidence at her trial.

The jury rejected her claims and found her guilty of three offences of theft.

At her sentencing hearing last year, judge Kearl said: “This was systematic and persistent removal of a considerable amount of money. You were in a position of trust.

“Instead of repaying that trust with loyalty you manipulated the accounting ledgers in order to cover up your stealing.”