A FINANCIAL director who blew more than £800,000 to feed her “crazy” online gambling addiction after stealing it from her own firm has been jailed.

Staff lost their jobs as a result of Lauren Farr fleecing Cwmbran claims company We Fight Any Claim for more than three years.

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She became “fixated” by betting on horse racing and lost thousands of pounds every week chasing her losses in her Paddy Power and Betfred accounts.

Mother-of-two Farr, of Spring Grove, Greenmeadow, Cwmbran, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position.


She stole £825,751.60 from We Fight Any Claim between March 2016 and October 2019.

Prosecutor Alexander Greenwood told Cardiff Crown Court: “She had worked for the company for 13 years.

“The defendant started off as an administrative worker and worked herself up to being the financial director with a £70,000 salary. She is a qualified chartered accountant.

“When the fraud was discovered, she was on gardening leave after she had been selected for redundancy.

“She initially admitted she had stolen £60,000. She said she was an alcoholic and that she had a crazy gambling problem.

“The majority of the £825,751.60 was made on online bets to Paddy Power and Betfred.”

Mr Greenwood added: “She would fabricate and falsify invoices and pay them into her own bank account.

“She said it got out of control and she was gambling to win the money back.”

Around £1.5 million in bets were placed through her accounts.

Ieuan Bennett, representing Farr, said: “The defendant was drinking alone and gambling online.

“It started off as fun but it soon got out of control. It snowballed and it was impossible to stop.

“She had a decent future that has been thrown away. Her fall from grace has been massive.

The court was told Farr was a “good wife and mother” who was of previous good character with no previous convictions.

Judge Neil Bidder QC told her: “This was a sophisticated and well concealed fraud and it has caused very substantial losses to the company.

“It has had a detrimental effect and I conclude, I’m sure, it has contributed to employees being made redundant.

“You abused your position of trust and responsibility.”

Judge Bidder jailed her for two years and eight months.

Farr wept as she was led to the cells by prison officers.

She is due to face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in April.

The judge voiced his "concern" that the gambling companies had continued to allow Farr to lose such vast sums of money.