Local Amazon boss jailed

An Amazon boss has been jailed after he spent over £12,000 on flying and hunting courses.

Nicholas Rees, 46, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation when he appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.

Crown prosecutor Keith Ballinger said the defendant, of Round Barrow, Colerne, near Chippenham, worked as a senior delivery manager for Amazon when he committed the crimes.

He submitted numerous expense claims totalling £12,484.97 between March 2020 and June 2021 – but a financial audit later revealed the truth behind the claims.

Rees was reimbursed just over £3,000 for expenses relating to training for a private pilot licence and nearly £2,000 on deer stalking training and other associated items.

He also splashed Amazon’s cash on products purchased on the global marketplace, treating his wife to a hotel stay and lavish dinner in London – claiming on the expense form that he was dining a client.

Mark Glendenning, defending, said his client immediately offered to pay the money back to avoid a criminal conviction – claiming he did it through stupidity, rather than the inability to pay. Amazon refused the offer, fired him and proceeded to report the matter to the police.

He said Rees “accepts that he has let himself down and let his family down”. A number of character references, from his wife and a neighbour, were provided to the court.

The defendant confirmed that his new employer was unaware of the proceedings.

Mr Glendenning asked the magistrates to consider a suspended prison sentence because he has a wife and children to support. He said his client is willing to pay compensation to Amazon and do unpaid work.