Jail term for massive Nectar point theft
IT manager gets 20-month sentence
An IT manager at Nectar partner Sainsbury’s has been jailed for stealing 17 million points for the coalition loyalty scheme.
James Stevenson was given a 20-month sentence for fraudulently adding millions of points to his collection of loyalty cards between 2002 and 2009. The points he stole were worth a total of £81,000.
The 45-year-old initially told police he had spent all the points but now claims he bought just £8,120 of groceries.
Stevenson, a lead analyst programmer at Sainsbury’s head office in central London, was sentenced on January 14 after admitting charges of fraud and theft in November 2010. The court heard he was a trusted employee who had worked for Sainsbury’s for 20 years.
Judge Peter Thornton QC told him: “You had access to the Nectar card system and loyalty card scheme. You abused your position over a period of years by putting points on to false cards.
“You then set about spending some of the money. You abused the trust that was placed in you by your employers.”
Prosecutor Edward McKiernan said Stevenson had discovered a loophole in the system enabling him to put points on his Nectar card.
“He had access to the system which operates Nectar cards on behalf of Sainsbury’s and was able to allocate points to his own card,” said McKiernan.
Stevenson created at least 18 false accounts under false names, some of them “silly names” and names of famous DJs, the court heard.