PR Boss Nicked £19,000 From Activision

PR Boss Nicked £19,000 From Activision

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PR exec, Kathryn Kirton, managed to siphon nearly twenty grand from Call of Duty's PR budget.

According to the Daily Mail, Forrmer Activision PR exec, Kathryn Kirton, won't be facing any jail time even after admitting she stole a total of £18,963 from the Call of Duty PR budget she was tasked with managing. The cash was supposed to be used to fund the series' increasingly elaborate, film premiere-style launches. Instead, Kirton used the money to fund a number of pricey shopping trips and a £2,000 luxury hotel break with her then fiancé, Lee Kirton (the couple have since parted ways), and a £1,500 engagement party held at London's pricey Café de Paris venue. To add a rather ballsy insult to that injury, she invited her to boss the engagement party.

The fraud was discovered in 2011, when Activision hired investigators to look into Kaye's "odd" purchases.

Both Kirton and her co-defendant, PR consultant Jamie Kaye - who used his company credit card to make the purchases, which Kirton would then authorize - admitted their creative use of Activision's money to Blackfriars Crown Court, and both were convicted of one count of fraud. Kirton was given an 18 month jail sentence, suspended for two years, while Kaye, who also admitted to stealing six iPads from his firm and using his company credit card to pay for a £3,500 trip to Florida, received a nine month sentence, suspended for 12 months. Neither will see any jail time, though Kaye was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work.

"You bought a large quantity of designer clothing," said judge, John Hillen, during the sentencing. "You spent time in luxury accommodation and you funded your engagement party through dishonest means. There was repeat dishonesty over a period of months. There is no doubt your wickedness deserves a severe sentence. In the world of PR you are surrounded by luxury items. That is reality for people working in that industry."

Hillen spared Kirton a jail term because of the "devastating effect" it would have on her two-year-old son.

While it's frustrating to see blatant, unrepentant theft go unpunished by the courts, the fraud did result in a rather amusing observation in the Daily Mail comments section.

"I like Activision as a company," explained Mansfield resident, Chez86, "they produce unique games which tend to have gone through much stricter testing than a lot of games produced by EA. Plus they have a much better customer service. To think this couple robbed this company like this makes me so angry, these kinds of things can plunge a company into insolvency, meaning no more of the product they produce. If you want to live a luxury lifestyle, then retrain for a career that will fund it."

Don't worry, Chez, I imagine Activision will scrape by.

Source: The Daily Mail

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Rich folk are the greediest sons of bitches in the damn world.

A homeless man steals a loaf bread, this cunt steals 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS POUNDS.

And maybe she should have thought about her son BEFORE she stole the god damn money.

Now I'm angry.

Edit: The fact that she stole from Activision is arbitrary. It's still wrong no matter who she steals from.

In this current economic climate, most people would consider having any position, especially an exec's position - at any company a pretty goddamn good state of affairs. But no, that's never enough is it? These morons always have to have more. Why can't people who are doing well just keep doing well instead of trying to do great by stealing from others? The greed of humanity just keeps boggling the mind.

And yeah as CardinalPiggles said: Probably should've thought about her son back when she was making the decision if she should become a CRIMINAL OR NOT.

Stories like this really rustle my jimmies, seriously.

Wow that comment at the end is hilarious, makes me wonder if Chez is from a parallel dimension with a differant Activision....

That said, the case does seem to be missing a lot of details here, such as how the fraud was uncovered, and any defenses that were on record.

My immediate suspician on reading this is that this is the result of some internal slap fighting at Activision, given the fact that the company apparently didn't push harder for jail time (I imagine if they really pushed that would have happened). Big companies like to find ways of hiding bonuses and such for employees so they won't be on record/taxed/etc... The exact expenses and the unsubtle nature of the inviting one's boss to a party paid for with company funds makes me suspect she was gifted the money she used in company credit. Of course being under tbe table it does mean in the case of executive slap fighting departments tend to audit each other and then point fingers at charges like this and then do things to each others "favored people". I was aware of some garbage like this when I worked at the casinos. One thing the casinos did was give away "comp points" to favored patrons and such which could be used at casino stores, resteraunts, etc... sometimes management would give their buddies permission to comp things on the casino's dime, or provide under the table bonuses or whatever. Use of a convention hall for a private party, "money" that could be spent on jewelery, etc... Every once in a while you'd hear something about (or be involved in) something about how so and so was caught stealing this, or how their wife bought $10k in jewelery or whatever on comp, with theft accusations, firings, etc... but it always seemed to be icing on the cake to other problems because really it wasn't all that sneaky and pretty much impossible to hide. Nobody shows up and drops $10k in comp points out of the comparitive blue and has it go unnoticed for months afterwards....

All speculation on my part, but to me it seems like an internal squabble that happened to get big enough where it spilled out into the real court system for about 30 seconds. I basically can't see Activision not noticing $20k in unusual purchuses through company credit, since that kind of thing tends to be monitored nowadays, and the odds of getting a charge past later auditing are nearly impossible, so yeah... I suspect she had permission at the time, but is also in a position where she probably won't say who it was that allowed it on record due to the relationship/alliance that got her those perks to begin with. I won't be shocked if she's back working for Activision in a similar capacity within six months either.

Consequences are for poor people it seems.

80 hours of work for her = nearly 19,000 pounds.

That means she's on about 9,500 pounds a week.

She's on 237.50 pounds an HOUR.

She gets paid more in an hour than people in "decent" jobs get paid in a day. AND THAT'S IN POUNDS, one of the highest valued currencies.

And still she feels the need to abuse the company credit card.

Her poor 2 year old baby. Bitch can afford a nanny and probably already has one.

I'm not familiar with the exchange rate on monopoly money.
Could someone put that in $Real Money?

Souplex:
I'm not familiar with the exchange rate on monopoly money.
Could someone put that in $Real Money?

19,000 Pounds is about about 58,500 Brazilian Real

Hope that helps.

Therumancer:
Wow that comment at the end is hilarious, makes me wonder if Chez is from a parallel dimension with a differant Activision....

That said, the case does seem to be missing a lot of details here, such as how the fraud was uncovered, and any defenses that were on record.

My immediate suspician on reading this is that this is the result of some internal slap fighting at Activision, given the fact that the company apparently didn't push harder for jail time (I imagine if they really pushed that would have happened). Big companies like to find ways of hiding bonuses and such for employees so they won't be on record/taxed/etc... The exact expenses and the unsubtle nature of the inviting one's boss to a party paid for with company funds makes me suspect she was gifted the money she used in company credit. Of course being under tbe table it does mean in the case of executive slap fighting departments tend to audit each other and then point fingers at charges like this and then do things to each others "favored people". I was aware of some garbage like this when I worked at the casinos. One thing the casinos did was give away "comp points" to favored patrons and such which could be used at casino stores, resteraunts, etc... sometimes management would give their buddies permission to comp things on the casino's dime, or provide under the table bonuses or whatever. Use of a convention hall for a private party, "money" that could be spent on jewelery, etc... Every once in a while you'd hear something about (or be involved in) something about how so and so was caught stealing this, or how their wife bought $10k in jewelery or whatever on comp, with theft accusations, firings, etc... but it always seemed to be icing on the cake to other problems because really it wasn't all that sneaky and pretty much impossible to hide. Nobody shows up and drops $10k in comp points out of the comparitive blue and has it go unnoticed for months afterwards....

All speculation on my part, but to me it seems like an internal squabble that happened to get big enough where it spilled out into the real court system for about 30 seconds. I basically can't see Activision not noticing $20k in unusual purchuses through company credit, since that kind of thing tends to be monitored nowadays, and the odds of getting a charge past later auditing are nearly impossible, so yeah... I suspect she had permission at the time, but is also in a position where she probably won't say who it was that allowed it on record due to the relationship/alliance that got her those perks to begin with. I won't be shocked if she's back working for Activision in a similar capacity within six months either.

I'm not entirely sure whether I fully buy your version of events, but it certainly feels a bit off for straight-up fraud. It would've taken one accountancy intern taking a peek at the books for the company to realise that shopping trips don't belong in advertising budgets.

DVS BSTrD:
Consequences are for poor people it seems.

That pretty much seems to be the case here. If a woman with less to pay for a lawyer tried the "it would hurt my son if i went to jail" Defence they would still go to prison.

at least it is unlikely she will ever hold a job like that again with that kind of black mark on her record, still it isnt proper justice though.

regalphantom:

Souplex:
I'm not familiar with the exchange rate on monopoly money.
Could someone put that in $Real Money?

19,000 Pounds is about about 58,500 Brazilian Real

Hope that helps.

It's also 2885131.00 in Japanese yen.

How does she get off stealing when a dude who swung on a stone block gets jail time?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8639930/Pink-Floyd-guitarists-son-Charlie-Gilmour-jailed-for-drug-fuelled-rampage.html

Wait a second. Let me wrap my head around this. People are honestly upset this woman stole all that money from Activision and did no work for it...while Activision bilks far, far more from the wallets of consumers world wide every year (while doing the same amount of work, mind you)and charging exorbitant prices for piddly DLC, and that's okay?

LysanderNemoinis:
Wait a second. Let me wrap my head around this. People are honestly upset this woman stole all that money from Activision and did no work for it...while Activision bilks far, far more from the wallets of consumers world wide every year (while doing the same amount of work, mind you)and charging exorbitant prices for piddly DLC, and that's okay?

The point is if a poorer person stole 20,000 pound they'd be serving jail time.

If someone who earns that much in 2 weeks steals 20,000 pound they get a slap on the wrist.

The message the justice system is serving here is "Do not reach above your station!"

Rich people get to do rich people crimes.

Poor people need to stay happy with poor people crimes, like stealing some shoes or a wallet.
Edit: But not a rich person's wallet, you'll go to jail for that. But if you steal a poor person's wallet the police "will not have the resources to investigate, sorry".

LysanderNemoinis:
Wait a second. Let me wrap my head around this. People are honestly upset this woman stole all that money from Activision and did no work for it...while Activision bilks far, far more from the wallets of consumers world wide every year (while doing the same amount of work, mind you)and charging exorbitant prices for piddly DLC, and that's okay?

It isn't stealing when people willingly give you their money.

Activision doesn't put a gun to your head and make you buy microsoft points to spend on their games' DLC.

But yes, I'm actively upset that this woman was sentenced to multiple months of Jail time, but the judge said "nah, you didn't think you'd actually have to serve, did ya?" Might as well have not sentenced the woman, and said that her crime wasn't worth prison time.

Sidney Buit:

LysanderNemoinis:
Wait a second. Let me wrap my head around this. People are honestly upset this woman stole all that money from Activision and did no work for it...while Activision bilks far, far more from the wallets of consumers world wide every year (while doing the same amount of work, mind you)and charging exorbitant prices for piddly DLC, and that's okay?

It isn't stealing when people willingly give you their money.

Activision doesn't put a gun to your head and make you buy microsoft points to spend on their games' DLC.

But yes, I'm actively upset that this woman was sentenced to multiple months of Jail time, but the judge said "nah, you didn't think you'd actually have to serve, did ya?" Might as well have not sentenced the woman, and said that her crime wasn't worth prison time.

While I made a joke, I also made a point, but it seems to have been ignored. I for one wouldn't so much as touch another CoD game if you paid me. ...Well, maybe if you paid me. If the government steps in because it thinks big sodas are bad for you, despite it being what you want, then why can't we start taking away Call of Duty because I firmly believe each one kills braincells.

As for the crime in question, embezzlement/theft is a far lesser crime than oh let's say, murder or rape, but people get away with that all the time, and no one bats an eyelash.

LysanderNemoinis:
While I made a joke, I also made a point, but it seems to have been ignored. I for one wouldn't so much as touch another CoD game if you paid me. ...Well, maybe if you paid me. If the government steps in because it thinks big sodas are bad for you, despite it being what you want, then why can't we start taking away Call of Duty because I firmly believe each one kills braincells.

As for the crime in question, embezzlement/theft is a far lesser crime than oh let's say, murder or rape, but people get away with that all the time, and no one bats an eyelash.

Was your point anything other than "I don't like Activision's recent releases and/or DLC practices."? Because if it was, I'm sorry, I missed the point. If that was the point... I don't think that's something that merits much discussion anymore.

People getting away with murder/rape/assault/[insert bad crime here] always invokes rage in people, I'm not sure why you'd say that no one bats an eyelash at them. Anytime there is a miscarriage of Justice people get angry. Not every instance gains widespread public attention, but that's mostly because individual murders/whatevers are local affairs and people have enough stuff going on in their own locales to worry about more than one "big" news item at a time.

Is her fiance at the time of her being found out, the same guy who does PR at Namco Bandai?

psh

not even 20 grand
Barely worth the slap on the wrist that a white collar conviction will get ya.

Now if she had smashed an ATM machine at a crappy convenience store and made off with 300 bucks, she'd get 20 years.

On the one hand, fraud. On the other hand, Activision.

CardinalPiggles:
Rich folk are the greediest sons of bitches in the damn world.

A homeless man steals a loaf bread, this cunt steals 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

And maybe she should have thought about her son BEFORE she stole the god damn money.

Now I'm angry.

Actually, she stole 19 thousand POUNDS, which is about 30 thousand dollars.

But please don't get more angry, it's not like Activision are going bankrupt and peoples jobs are at risk because of her fraud. The only one who lost out was her. She now has the criminal record and reputation, so good luck to her in finding a new well-paid job. There's worse things to be pissed about!

CardinalPiggles:

And maybe she should have thought about her son BEFORE she stole the god damn money.

Karathos:

And yeah as CardinalPiggles said: Probably should've thought about her son back when she was making the decision if she should become a CRIMINAL OR NOT.

Not to support the woman - she's a thief, obviously, and that's bad - but remember that Black Ops, the game she was working on, was finished in November 2010, and her son is 2 years old as of now.
If she was stealing the money before the game was released, and her son only just became 2 recently, it's technically possible that she was stealing money before she was even pregnant. And, ya know, I personally have trouble thinking about something that doesn't yet exist myself, dunno 'bout you.
I mean, the chances are semi slim, but there's still a possibility. Just saying.

Still, I don't think I'd steal money from a big company, child or no. But then again, I suppose the idea of "Hey, it's a big company, they'll cope," coupled with the extravagant lifestyle, and everything else... Might have made it much more tempting to her. So, semi-explainable, though definitely not something she should have been doing.

Oh and, kind of off topic, but;

Grey Carter:
...she invited her to boss the engagement party.

Typo here, Grey.
...Hey, someone was gonna find it and mention it, might as well be me.
... Please don't ban me. ;-;

"An Activision corporate spokesperson was too busy reclining on a carpet made of living concubines and admiring his new three piece suit wrought entirely of gold to make a statement."

Personal opinion, this isn't theft, its karmatic justice.

Sidney Buit:

LysanderNemoinis:
Wait a second. Let me wrap my head around this. People are honestly upset this woman stole all that money from Activision and did no work for it...while Activision bilks far, far more from the wallets of consumers world wide every year (while doing the same amount of work, mind you)and charging exorbitant prices for piddly DLC, and that's okay?

It isn't stealing when people willingly give you their money.

Activision doesn't put a gun to your head and make you buy microsoft points to spend on their games' DLC.

But yes, I'm actively upset that this woman was sentenced to multiple months of Jail time, but the judge said "nah, you didn't think you'd actually have to serve, did ya?" Might as well have not sentenced the woman, and said that her crime wasn't worth prison time.

Trust me, in the wonderful world of legal fairyland, this example right here is pretty low key and boring.

How about a lady that arranged for her estranged husband to be murdered, evading justice for a rough ten years and counting now, because, miraculously, she always manages to get or be pregnant by the time she's supposed to go to jail? All her lawyers and counselors, as well as her medical bills are paid for by tax payer money. She's living the good life.

Some people are playing the system, and not all of them are rich or well off.

Still, what these two folks did deserves punishment. She went on a premarital shopping spree, and her colleague and partner in crime stole half a dozen iPads from his employer and had them pay for his family holiday... but I, too, really think it's not 'fair' in the most traditional meaning of the word if the guy gets what he deserves and the lady who caused n times the amount of damage gets pretty much away with it. The consequences for all of us? More control, less trust, shittier climate. That's what you get for being the same species as some random thief. No fair!

LysanderNemoinis:

While I made a joke, I also made a point, but it seems to have been ignored.

As a joke, it worked (may not have been funny though), as a point it fails. People willingly buy CoD games because they enjoy them. Shocking, I know, but that's the truth of it. It doesn't matter how much work Activision put into the series they're not stealing money.

*Reads article, then grabs bag of microwavable popcorn*

*Reads posts so far while popcorn pops*

'Oh no, poor Activision'

DING!

*Grabs popcorn*

It's not really theft, for Kathryn. Misappropriation of funds, yes. Theft, no. And technically it is funding for Activision and Call of Duty, isn't it. As a matter of fact, this could be even more successful when you consider how many online articles there will be about this, and people posting links to it... Not bad for what amounts to free preparations for her wedding.

Her spouse stealing iPads is theft, and he is being appropriately punished. But honestly, given the embarrassing budgets the CoD games get, do we really care?

Thieves and liars working for Activision, I'm surprised they weren't promoted.

kailus13:
How does she get off stealing when a dude who swung on a stone block gets jail time?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8639930/Pink-Floyd-guitarists-son-Charlie-Gilmour-jailed-for-drug-fuelled-rampage.html

Because it wasn't just any stone block, it's about the only thing us English hold sacred (beer and fottball being the other things).

Frankly he's lucky no one hunted him down and killed him.

fix-the-spade:
Thieves and liars working for Activision, I'm surprised they weren't promoted.

kailus13:
How does she get off stealing when a dude who swung on a stone block gets jail time?
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8639930/Pink-Floyd-guitarists-son-Charlie-Gilmour-jailed-for-drug-fuelled-rampage.html

Because it wasn't just any stone block, it's about the only thing us English hold sacred (beer and fottball being the other things).

Frankly he's lucky no one hunted him down and killed him.

Being English myself, I know what the cenotaph is. I just think he should have been fined or ordered to do community service instead of being sent to prison.

Daily Mail is the wisest of all the worlds news outlets we clearly cannot even imagin the scope and breath of ther eunderstanding of the gaming corperation world... but its kinda a fair point at least activision has customer service, back in the day every time wow was down for a day with server instqability i'd get a day added back on my sub, I imagine EA would find a way to charge me for that.

I would say that it's only 19000 pounds, big whoop.

Still not a good idea though.

BITCH PLEASE! Like she even spent any time with that kid. Probably hired some poor woman to do it for 10$ an hour.

Activisions biggest problem is that they are successful and don't want to change up anything. Now whilst I don't resent them for that I resent them for sitting on an OCEAN of IP's that they refuse to use, they don't even OFFER to sell them back to the devs they originally coerced them from.

So whilst Activision still isn't a good company it is a company I can avoid just by not buying their games. They literally make just two or three games that have a fanbase and the rest is all movie licenses. I thin once people get sick of COD the way they got sick of Westerns Activision will get sold for peanuts.

EA on the other hand, is America's most evil corporation two years in a row for good reason. They actively go out of their way to reach Activisions level of success by aping them. In the process destroying and killing studios that made games that I loved all in an effort to BE Call of Duty.

(Mac Walters as lead writer, WHUT?!)

Forgetting that they could run a profitable company just by making the games people wanted on a tightly managed budget. Instead of homogenizing everything into a shooter paste to feed the masses.

VoidWanderer:
*Reads article, then grabs bag of microwavable popcorn*

*Reads posts so far while popcorn pops*

'Oh no, poor Activision'

DING!

*Grabs popcorn*

It's not really theft, for Kathryn. Misappropriation of funds, yes. Theft, no. And technically it is funding for Activision and Call of Duty, isn't it. As a matter of fact, this could be even more successful when you consider how many online articles there will be about this, and people posting links to it... Not bad for what amounts to free preparations for her wedding.

Her spouse stealing iPads is theft, and he is being appropriately punished. But honestly, given the embarrassing budgets the CoD games get, do we really care?

I submit that it was not even that, it was a PR budget... To draw attention to the game....... That we are all now talking about.... and it getting coverage on networks that would not ordinarily cover it.....

I think they should give her a raise....

*Shrug* its Activision, they can afford it. In her position a lot of people would be tempted to abuse their expense account to some extent. I'm not advocating theft just pointing out how shitty human nature is and i wonder how many people outraged at her might not have tried the same in that situation.

To the people angry at her for getting a suspended sentence i suggest you be angry at the system instead, its not like Kirton was sending poor people to jail in her spare time

I'm sorry but "ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work" is some sort of punishment to these people?
My dad is probably in the thousands of hours by now, and he actually does his job. But hey, that's the economy, amairite?

 

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