Woman stole £159,000 to try to keep boyfriend: 'Fantasist' Caroline Woollen claimed she had won Shell and Siemens contracts to get cash
A MANAGER of a global offshore company stole almost £160,000 to pay for luxury holidays to stop her boyfriend leaving her.
Caroline Woollen, 33, tricked her Danish employers Nordic Offshore into believing she had landed lucrative contracts with major firms including Shell and Siemens.
Bosses authorised the payment of £159,000 to Woollen, believing she was using the money to pay workers to carry out the contracts. Instead, Woollen was using the stolen cash to buy her boyfriend a camper van and take him on exclusive skiing trips and luxury holidays to stop him leaving her.
Hull Crown Court heard Woollen, who had been drinking up to three bottles of wine a night, was a fantasist who led a "Walter Mitty existence". Her barrister Anil Murray said: "She wanted to be loved by her partner. She wanted to please him.
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"Once this offending was uncovered, her partner left her.
"She is a broken woman."
Woollen, of Springfield Avenue, Brough, pleaded guilty to fraud between April 2011 and May last year.
She was charged with stealing £387,609.13 but pleaded guilty to stealing £159,000.
The court heard Woollen even lied to her family about her accomplishments, claiming she was at drama school and college when both were untrue.
She said she lied to conceal the inadequacies she felt compared with more successful members of her family.
Woollen had previously defrauded a different company in 2010 and had been convicted of writing a false invoice.
She was also convicted of making a false representation in 2009 and ordered to pay £5,000 compensation.
Nordic Offshore, which supplies skilled personnel to the offshore industry, was unaware of her previous convictions when she secured a job with them after pretending she had excellent contacts with Siemens and Shell.
Her first task was to apply to the UK Border Agency for a licence allowing the firm's employees to work in the UK but she failed to make the approach. She lied to her employers, creating fictitious emails pretending she had.
Woollen then said she had obtained contracts with major firms, requesting thousands of pounds which she claimed she needed to pay contractors.
Prosecutor Jharna Jobes said: "She told her employers these companies were prepared to do business with them, which was untrue."
Woollen was summoned to a disciplinary hearing by the company last May as her lies began to unravel and she admitted her deceit.
Mrs Jobes said: "She admitted all of this offending and said she was trying to impress her boyfriend and her family.
"She went on skiing holidays, funded a £10,000 holiday to Canada with her boyfriend and talked about all the parties she had attended using company money."
Mr Murray, defending, said Woollen believed the stress of her conduct had led to the death her father late last year.
He said: "She comes from a respectable, happy family and has had chances in life.
"She has had every support and been brought up well loved. However, it seems she felt she didn't deserve that love.
"She has had siblings who have done extremely well and she has always felt she hadn't done well and didn't live up to what she thought was expected of her.
"As a result, she has low self-esteem and a desire, almost a compulsion, to please others.
"The irony is they love her for just who she is anyway."
Woollen has been sentenced to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to attend an alcohol treatment course and carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
She will now face further legal action under the Proceeds of Crime Act as the Crown Prosecution Service is seeking to recoup more than £160,000.
Judge Simon Jack told her: "You are a victim of your own personality and your need to please those around you."