Sat, 22 Aug 2020
THE son of champion jockey Ben De Haan has been jailed for stealing nearly £300,000 from his father’s business.
Gambling addict Oliver De Haan used the cash to pay off a debt, Reading Crown Court heard.
It was a blow from which his father’s equine business in Lambourn never recovered.
At a previous hearing Oliver De Haan, of Upper Bolney Road, Henley-on-Thames, admitted one count of fraud by transferring funds from Ben De Haan Equine Ltd into a personal account and another account between September 2018 and August last year.
He also used company debit cards for unauthorised personal cash withdrawals and purchases
His father Ben made his name by winning the 1983 Grand National on Corbiere, the first to have been trained by a female trainer in Jenny Pitman.
He currently trains racehorses at Fairview Racing Stables in Long Hedge, Lambourn, and also ran Ben De Haan Equine Ltd, which employed 11 staff, with his wife, Donna.
The court heard his 29-year-old son, who had been employed to manage the business’s finances, stole £289,707 from his parents’ business account from 2018 to 2019.
He hid postal items and stopped his mother from speaking to an accountant in order to hide the fraud.
He later handed himself in to the police after being found out, the court heard.
As a direct result of his actions, Judge Emma Nott heard, Ben De Haan Equine Ltd had to be liquidated and a new company set up.
According to the BBC, a sentencing hearing at Reading Crown Court heard Oliver De Haan had managed repay £50,000 using money from his grandmother’s inheritance.
On Friday, at the sentencing hearing, Judge Nott jailed him for 20 months and remarked he had run his parents’ firm “into the ground”.
She added: “What you have done to your parents must have been incredibly worrying and stressful to them.”