A Sainsbury’s IT worker stole points over a 7 month period which would have required over £7 million of in store spending to acquire. The Nectar points, which can be earned in Sainsbury’s, Homebase, BP and with British Gas, were acquired through creating a series of false accounts and crediting points to them.
James Stevenson, 45, admitted the fraud in court yesterday and will be sentenced in the New Year to allow him to spend Christmas at home. He has been told by the court that he is likely to face a prison sentence. If he had cashed in the points they would have been worth over £73,000.
The scam, which took place between November 2002 and May 2003, happened during the first year of the Nectar scheme, which has gone on to become the largest loyalty point scheme in the UK.
Stevenson also admitted fraud by false representation for redeeming £8,120 worth of points on shopping in October 2007.
Judge Peter Thornton QC agreed to put back the sentence at the Old Bailey until January 14 so Mr Stevenson could spend Christmas with his family.
Judge Thornton told him: ‘I am going to adjourn your case for sentence. You will remain on bail unconditionally but that is no promise as to what is likely to happen.
‘The most likely outcome is a custodial sentence but a pre-sentence report will be prepared upon you by the probation service.
‘I keep all options open.’