A letting agent responsible for managing a large buy-to-let portfolio in Norwich has been handed a 20-month suspended sentence for two years after stealing close to £100,000 from a landlord.
Norwich Crown Court was told how Stephen Webster, 38, who ran The Letting Business, stole the cash from the landlord whose properties he was meant to manage, in order to fund his drug and alcohol addiction.
The theft was discovered after the landlord expressed concern at the way his portfolio of 95 properties was being managed by The Letting Business.
After an accountant looked at the figures, it was discovered a total of £97,498 was missing, and so the landlord reported the matter to the police.
After an investigation, the police found out that Webster, of Norwich Road, Dereham, had also stolen a deposit of £695 from another landlord.
Aside from receive a suspended sentence, Webster, who had a previous conviction for fraud in 1999 when he worked for Camden Council, has also been ordered to to do 200 hours unpaid work.
John Farmer, representing Webster, told the court that he had voluntarily sought help for his drink and drug problem and had repaid as much money as he could before the matter came to court.
Farmer said: “Before there was any question of being prosecuted he had made £30,000 repatriation.”