Edwin May Coleraine VolkswagenEdwin May Coleraine Volkswagen


Former Edwin May worker told to pay car dealer £132,000 after long campaign of fraud

  • Fraudulent car dealership worker ordered to pay compensation to former employer
  • Norma Smyth stole close to £500,000 over 11-and-half-year period working for Edwin May Ltd
  • Judge gives her six months to pay £132,047 package to Northern Irish dealer group
  • Failure to pay could result in up to five years behind bars

Time 10:52 am, December 7, 2023

A fraudster who stole more than £450,000 from the car dealer group she was working for has been ordered to pay more than £130,000 in compensation.

Car Dealer reported earlier this year that Norma Smyth stole a whopping £437,824 from Edwin May while working for the firm’s Volkswagen dealership in Limavady, Northern Ireland.

She was jailed for three years back in July but the case has now been back in court in order to settle on a compensation package for the dealer.

Smyth, 48, did not appear in person during the hearing but a judge ruled that she must pay £132,047 in compensation to her former employer.

Judge Alistair Devlin gave the defendant six months to pay the sum or face ‘up to five years imprisonment’, ITV reports.

Prosecutor, Suzanne Gallagher, backed the ruling, saying: ‘That’s the maximum sentence but if the court feels that is not appropriate that can be amended.’

The ruling concludes the criminal case against Smyth, following her initial guilty plea in May.

The court was told that the mother-of-three, of Duncrun Road in Limavady, showed an ‘insatiable level of greed’ during her time at the dealership.

The 48-year-old spent 11 and half years abusing her position of power within the company to steal astronomical amounts of money.

She stole a whopping £437,824 from Edwin May Ltd as well as illegally accessing company accounts to secure herself a further £18,578.86, which she used to pay personal invoices and finance repayments on her car.

The judge heard during her sentencing hearing that on average, Smyth was stealing more than £3,000 a month from her employer.

Despite her significant ill-gotten gains, she was also able to successfully lobby for a pay rise shortly before her theft came to light.

Her web of lies eventually began to untangle when a financial adviser noticed irregularities in Edwin May’s accounts.

It was later found that money paid by Volkswagen to the dealership to cover metallic paint costs had actually gone to accounts linked to the defendant.

She also transferred credits and bonuses to accounts where customers’ cash payments were lodged before withdrawing the cash herself.

Another scheme saw her buy vehicles from Edwin May in the name of either herself or her husband, which were actually paid for by transferring money from the company’s road tax refund account.

She eventually admitted to her campaign of theft – which took place between February 1, 2008 and November 6, 2019 – during police interviews held in December 2019 and May 2021.

When quizzed in court, Smyth’s defence team claimed she had stolen the money to ‘provide a better lifestyle’ for her family.

However, Judge Devlin said he had ‘difficulty accepting’ the explanation and said the defendant had lived a double life for several years.

He described her as ‘a hard-working and no doubt devoted wife, mother, homemaker and churchgoer on the one hand, but who was unfortunately at the same time, unknown to anyone, a skilled, persistent and accomplished fraudster and thief’.

Image credit: Edwin May Volkswagen Coleraine/Google Maps

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

More stories...

Motors Advert
Server 108