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‘Whiskey thief’ must repay funds after Jack Daniel’s heist

A former warehouse worker who led a 'lavish lifestyle' after his role in stealing more than 123,000 bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey in the UK has been ordered to pay back funds and sell a holiday home bought with ‘criminal cash’.

A court has ordered James Barr, 35, to repay £75,000 within 12 weeks, or face an additional 12 months in prison for his role in stealing 123,552 bottles of Jack Daniel’s whiskey from a UK warehouse, said the Eastern Region Special Operations [police] Unit.

He helped to steal Jack Daniel’s whiskey with a retail value of £3.5m whilst working as a warehouse operative for a logistics company based at Snetterton in Norfolk, eastern England.

Barr benefited from the theft by more than £276,000, Norwich Crown Court heard at a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act on 23 October.

Alongside the £75,000 payment, the court said Barr owed another £200,000 and ordered him to sell a holiday home purchased with money generated by the stolen whiskies.

Police began investigating the case after a logistics company in the region discovered the suspected theft.

CCTV footage showed Barr aiding six unauthorised loads with a total 156 pallets to leave the warehouse site on lorries between July 2019 and June 2020.

Lorries were diverted through a side entrance to avoid having to show documentation at a weighbridge. 

After the thefts, Barr deposited £206,315 into his bank accounts. He took several large bags of cash to different ATM cash machines across the city of Norwich, according to the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).  

He spent the money on a ‘lavish lifestyle’, which included buying two cars and a holiday home, plus holidays abroad, it said.

The court heard that he had already spent the majority of his illegal proceeds by the time he was arrested in August 2020.

It was also discovered that Barr had a pension, and the court ordered that £1,524 should be given back to the company from this.

Financial investigation manager Tim Underhill, from ERSOU, said, ‘Barr’s greed and dishonesty meant that the businesses affected by his actions suffered severe financial loss. All whilst Barr lived a fanciful lifestyle he had not honestly earnt.’

In June this year, Barr, of St James Close in Norwich, was sentenced to three years in prison, according to local media.

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