A former Oxford University lecturer has been jailed for five years at the Old Bailey for destroying a design consultancy after being hired as maternity cover. Maria Di Natale, 45, squandered the proceeds of a £436,000 fraud on designer clothes, holidays and hiring a private jet.Now, the company certainly bears a lot of responsibility for the laxness of their checks. But she was quite determined and went to extreme lengths to carry out this fraud, and cover it up.
When she realised the police were on her tail, Di Natale tried to have two incriminating computers stolen from the company offices.
But the scheme eventually caught up with her and she pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and attempting to pervert the course of justice on the first day of her trial.However, once caught, it was a quick diagnosis of ‘too ill to be punished!’, but an effort that was for naught:
John Carl Townsend, defending, claimed Di Natale, previously a lecturer at Oxford University with a degree from the London School of Economics, was suffering from bipolar disorder.She should have got two five year sentences then!