David Moore stole more than £780,000 to buy collectable toys
A 40-year-old Merseyside man who stole more than £780,000 from his employer and used it to buy collectable toys has been jailed for three years.
David Moore, of Segars Lane, Southport, cashed company cheques and used the money to buy boxes of collectable toys known as Kidrobot or Dunnys.
He was responsible for the accounts at Typolac, a Lancashire printing firm.
He had pleaded guilty to 18 specimen counts of theft with 364 taken into consideration at Preston Crown Court.
He was jailed for three years and four months on each of the specimen counts, all to run concurrently.
Passing sentence, Judge Christopher Cornwall said: "You did go to some lengths to conceal what you were doing. You deceived those that trusted you. You were being paid to look after the company's affairs, not steal from the company."
Police found boxes of the collectable Dunny toys in David Moore's attic
The toys, meant for adults, are all individually painted by artists and sell for between £25 to £500.
When police raided his house they found numerous boxes of the small figurines stacked in the attic, along with signed sporting memorabilia, original artwork, oil paintings and designer watches.
Police believe he may have been "priming the market" in Dunnys ready to have a good supply for when the craze swept the UK.
Moore, who had no previous convictions, had been responsible for the accounts at Typolac and had worked there for 10 years, but four years ago began stealing money by cashing cheques himself, Paul Cummings, prosecuting told Preston Crown Court.
But the firm ran into trouble and he was made redundant in August 2007.
David Moore bought the items intending to sell them on at a profit
It was only when a new accountant found a huge hole in the company finances that the police were called in and Moore was arrested in June 2008.
Police found at least £600,000 had passed through his accounts in the past four years and at least £250,000 had been spent on eBay and other internet websites.
In total he stole £783,098 from his firm.
Moore claimed he had become a gambling addict and bought all the items, intending to sell them on at a profit.
Andrew Downie, defending, added: "He was in a cycle of mistaken misjudgment."
All the items are being catalogued, valued, and will be sold on to try to repay his former employers.