Sainsbury’s programmer jailed over massive Nectar points theft

An IT worker at Sainsbury’s has been jailed after stealing around £81,000 in Nectar reward points from his employer.

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An IT worker at Sainsbury’s has been jailed after stealing around £81,000 in Nectar reward points from his employer.

James Stevenson, a lead analyst programmer at Sainsbury’s, was sentenced today at the Old Bailey to 20 months in prison for fraud, but will be released after 10 months on licence, the BBC News website reported. He has also been ordered to repay the £8,120 he redeemed in points to pay for groceries.

In a hearing before Christmas, Stevenson admitted to creating false accounts and crediting them with around 14 million Nectar points, which have a monetary value of £73,207.

The court heard today that he stole more than 17 million Nectar points, potentially totalling the equivalent of at least £85,000 in cash. Under the company’s Nectar loyalty programme, two points are awarded for every pound spent, with every 500 points worth £2.50.

The court heard that Stevenson, who had worked at Sainsbury's for 20 years, created at least 18 accounts using the names of DJs, and added points to them between 2003 and 2004. He started using the points in 2007 and 2008, at first only buying one item at a time.

According to the BBC, prosecutor Edward McKiernan said: “There wasn’t a proper check in place. He was a trusted employee so no-one was looking over his shoulder.”

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Our internal systems to prevent fraud are very robust.

“When the actions of Mr Stevenson came to light we took appropriate action.”

Under the company’s Nectar loyalty programme, two points are awarded for every pound spent, with every 500 points worth £2.50.

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