Jailed Asda boss ordered to pay back £180K after stealing from charity fund

Paul Kelly  was jailed for three years.
Paul Kelly was jailed for three years.

A former ASDA boss has been ordered to pay back £180,000 he stole from the supermarket firm’s charity fund or face longer behind bars.

Paul Kelly, 55, was jailed for three years in March after abusing his position as chairman of the ASDA Foundation to swindle funds

Kelly, who was paid £160,000 a year for his role as chairman of the foundation and as director of corporate affairs, persuaded company directors to sign blank cheques, claiming he was due to meet Prince Charles in a bid to help flood victims.

However up to £80,000 was handed over to a failing ballet company run by his boyfriend.

In total Kelly had benefited from £180,000 through his crimes and Leeds Crown Court heard he had assets available to repay the stolen cash in full.

The court heard Kelly had also claimed he was using funds from the Foundation to help disabled children.

Recorder Simon Kealey ordered Kelly to stump up the money within 28 days or face an extra two years in jail.

Recorder Kealey said the money should be paid to the ASDA Foundation as compensation.

Kelly plans to sell his home in North Yorkshire in order to pay off the debt.

Detective Inspector Jaz Khan, of Leeds District Serious Organised Crime Unit, said after the case: “This was a very serious breach of trust by Kelly against a charitable fund that was there to help those in genuine need.

“We hope it will reassure people to know that the confiscation order granted means the full amount taken will be paid back to the foundation.”

Kelly admitted seven counts of fraud by abusing a position of trust between 2013 and 2014, earlier this year.

In his role as chair of the ASDA Foundation, Kelly met with 12 other trustees and suggested charitable caused for funds to be given to.