Visit Isle of Wight released a statement following the crown court appearance of their former employee who has admitted theft and fraud on Friday (November 16).
Joanne Thornton, a former finance officer at Visit Isle of Wight, will now appear before Isle of Wight Crown Court in early March 2019, following a decision to allow time to repay monies to Visit Isle of Wight.
Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight said: “Visit Isle of Wight acknowledges and respects the processes the Isle of Wight Crown Court has put in place today
“I continue to assure our Wight BID levy payers that all monies received have been used fully and in the correct manner in line with the Wight BID structure and plans.
“We will continue the ongoing job at hand, namely marketing the Isle of Wight and bringing visitors to our shores, which annually accounts for £286 million in economic impact.
“Visit Isle of Wight is dealing with this situation, but this is not of our making – it lies firmly at the door of Joanne Thornton, who we trusted, but she stole from the organisation.”
Judge Richard Melville deferred sentencing Thornton to a date in March, 2019 promising “dire consequences” if the money was not paid back in full.
Defending Thornton, Barry Arnett said £17,000 of the almost £34,000 that was taken is available to be returned today (November 16).