PRESTON, England, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A British businessman says he began to suspect his accounts clerk was stealing from him when he attended her lavish wedding reception.
Kirsty Lane, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud, the Daily Express reported. She admitted stealing 168,000 pounds ($273,000) from Peter Sutton's audio-visual firm, where she had been a part-time clerk.
Sutton said he had given Lane a raise when she said she was broke. So he wondered how she could afford the most "lavish" party he had ever attended.
The reception in January was held at a country house, Sutton said. It featured a harpist, magicians, a saxophone player, fireworks and even Ugg boots for the bridesmaids.
"It was like she was rubbing our faces in it," Sutton said. "It was the wedding that first started to raise alarm bells. Up to that point we had no idea, because she was always claiming she was hard-up, and didn't do anything that would tip us off."
The theft came close to sinking his small company in Leyland, Lancashire, Sutton said. He had to cut expenses by eliminating two employees.