Golf pro stole more than £100,000 from Hampshire club over 5 year period

A GOLF professional pocketed more than £100,000 illegally from a Hampshire golf club over a five-year period.

By Hollie Busby
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 8:27 pm

A court heard how Steven Hunter, a head golf professional at the Royal Winchester Club under-reported the value of green fees paid by visitors to the club.

Having been trusted to take payments, he vastly under-reported the takings, resulting in him stealing more than £100,000.

He also pocketed thousands from money that had been donated over two charity golf days organised in memory of a long-standing member, the late Les Day.

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Instead of ensuring donations were paid to Canine Partners, Hunter took £11,000 for himself.

After a 5-year period though, the club manager reviewed the figures for income from visitors’ fees and discovered the scale of Hunter’s fraudulent behaviour.

Having consistently claimed his income was only a third of what it should have been, he used the rest of the money to fund his lifestyle.

Appearing at Salisbury Crown Court today, the 54-year-old of Abbots Worthy was found guilty by a jury of two counts of fraud, false accounting and of cheating HMRC of public revenue.

He was also found guilty of false accounting having diverted takings from his pro golf shop to his own personal bank account instead of his business account.

It is said that this was done so he could avoid tax.

He further cheated the public revenue by failing to declare retainer payments and VAT payments to HMRC.

Elizabeth Medland, CPS Wessex senior crown prosecutor, said: ‘His deception has not only caused the golf club financial loss but has also prevented a charity from receiving the benefit of very generous donations made in memory of a man who meant a lot to the club and its patrons.’