Activision PR manager took $29k from Call of Duty budget
Funds from the Call of Duty: Black Ops launch event were used to pay for luxury shopping trips, holidays, iPads, and a bachelorette party.
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An ex-Activision PR manager in the UK has been convicted of defrauding the company out of £18,963 (approximately $29,000) and spending the funds on multiple shopping sprees, a luxury hotel break, and a bachelorette party.
Former senior manager of PR at Activision UK Kathryn Kirton took the money from the budget of 2010′s Call of Duty: Black Ops London launch event, which took place in Battersea power station. She was aided by Frank PR consultant Jamie Kaye, who also admitted to taking £5,000. Kaye spent the money on six iPads and a £3,500 holiday to Florida.
Blackfriars Crown Court was told (via the Daily Mail) by Kirton’s defence that she was entranced by the “glamorous and luxurious” world of public relations.
Kirton attempted to clear the purchases through Activision’s finances by getting Kaye to pay for them on a company credit card. She then approved the expense claims.
The purchases were made over multiple months in 2010, and were discovered in 2011 when Activision investigated the case further.
Both Kirton and Kaye avoided prison, with Kirton being sentenced for 18 months with a suspended sentence of two years. Kaye was given a nine month sentence suspended for 12 months, and was also ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work.
During the sentencing, Judge John Hiller said “What is surprising is that cases like this are happening more and more often in your industry. But this is not the place to explore the PR industry.”