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Wednesday, 30 September 2020
A MAN has been jailed for 20 months after stealing almost £300,000 to pay a gambling debt.
Oliver De Haan, of Upper Bolney Road, Shiplake, admitted taking cash belonging to an equine business owned by his father Ben De Haan, a former jockey who won the Grand National on Corbière in 1983.
The firm, which was based in Lambourn, went into administration as a result of his crime.
Reading Crown Court heard how De Haan, 29, stole £289,707 from his parents’ business account between 2018 and 2019 while employed to manage the company finances.
He hid postal items and stopped his mother from speaking to an accountant in an effort to hide the fraud. He handed himself in to police after being found out.
The firm had to be liquidated before restarting under a different name. It employs 11 people.
The court was told De Haan had committed the fraud in order to pay an £80,000 gambling debt and had managed to repay £50,000 by drawing on his grandmother’s inheritance.
Judge Emma Nott said he had run the business “into the ground”, adding: “What you have done to your parents must have been incredibly worrying and stressful for them.”
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