Former Asda executive Paul Kelly faces prison over £180,000 flood victims fraud

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Paul Kelly, 55, allegedly diverted £180,000 from Asda's fund for flood victims to his partner's ballet company instead (Source: Getty)

A former Asda executive could face time in prison after defrauding the supermarket's charity fund of £180,000.

Paul Kelly, a former vice-president of corporate affairs at the Leeds-based firm, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud at Leeds Crown Court on Monday after diverting money that was intended for assisting flood victims to support his partner's ballet company, Murley Dance, instead.

Kelly had worked at Asda for seven years and was chairman of the retailer's charitable foundation as well as a government food policy adviser.

He was dismissed in September 2014 following the internal investigation into the offence, which took place at the time of the Somerset floods between July 2013 and May 2014. He will be sentenced on 16 February.

An Asda spokesperson said: “Our internal controls identified the fraud in 2014 allowing us to take immediate action against this individual. Asda also gifted the full amount taken to the Asda Foundation so that its support for good causes wouldn’t be disrupted. We’re very proud of the support that the Asda Foundation has given to communities hit by the recent floods via a £500,000 fund and it would be a shame if this matter tainted that great work.”

Before joining Asda in 2007, Kelly was director of corporate affairs at food caterer Compass.

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