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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
'Fairy tale' world of crooked PA
Joyti De-Laurey
De-Laurey bought Cartier jewellery "like it was going out of fashion"
From working in car showrooms, Joyti De-Laurey found herself rubbing shoulders with powerful bankers whose wealth was "the stuff of fairy tales".

Investment bank Goldman Sachs dealt in "earth-shattering" deals worth billions and her boss Jennifer Moses willingly gave her a 40,000 interest-free loan.

Former boss Ron Beller spent nearly 18,000 on wine in one year.

Neither realised that 1.1m was going missing from their personal accounts over nearly two years.

Mr Beller said he thought his account was "light by one million or two million" but assumed it was his mistake.

Necklace and rings from the Cartier collection the De-Laurey bought
750,000 on a seafront villa in Cyprus
500,000 for furniture
400,000 on Cartier jewellery
175,000 for an Aston Martin
150,000 on a power boat
2,000 on flying lessons

The trial heard 35-year-old De-Laurey siphoned 4.3m to create a double life and presented herself as a VIP.

As well as the 1.1m from Mr Beller and Ms Moses, who were married and managing directors, she later appropriated about 3.3m from their successor Edward Scott Mead.

With it she began to carve out a luxury lifestyle - buying diamond-encrusted jewellery, designer clothes, flying lessons and fast cars.

She also bought a string of properties in Britain and abroad including a 750,000 seafront villa in Cyprus which she filled with 500,000 of furniture.

There she intended to start a new life with her son and husband, describing herself as a banker on a school registration form.

The trial heard she appeared to have "all the trappings" of an international banker - ordering a 150,000 powerboat and a 175,000 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, neither of which were ever delivered.

I have never been betrayed before like this in my life
Ron Beller, former managing director, Goldman Sachs
De-Laurey insisted she had done nothing wrong and said she merely seized an opportunity offered to her by her bosses who were "glad" to share their wealth.

The 35-year-old told the court she forged signatures to transfer the money to her accounts with the knowledge of Mr Beller and Mrs Moses.

It was a reward for the way she did her job and for her loyalty and discretion which were "priceless".

Among her duties was covering up Mr Mead's affair so his wife and colleagues did not find out, the court heard.

But her bosses said they had been betrayed by a trusted PA.

Mr Beller told the court he was "floored and shocked" that the woman he thought of as a competent employee was nothing more than a "thief".

He told the court: "I have never been betrayed before like this in my life. I will never be betrayed like this again."

The prosecution even produced "letters to God", the De-Laurey wrote.

De-Laurey's letters to God
20 Apr 04  |  London
PA convicted of 4.3m bank fraud
20 Apr 04  |  London
'Jealousy drove PA's 4.5m theft'
24 Mar 04  |  London
Boss's wife 'forced PA charges'
23 Mar 04  |  London
PA 'rewarded millions for work'
22 Mar 04  |  London
PA stole 'because she was dying'
04 Mar 04  |  England

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