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PR Boss Nicked £19,000 From Activision

| 22 Apr 2013 23:52
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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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