Activision wins fraud case against two PR reps

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During a court case that was mostly ignored by the games press while ongoing, Activison (UK) brought fraud charges against two videogame PR representatives. One was their own head of internal PR, Kathryn Kirton; the other was Jamie Kaye, consultant for Frank PR – one of the best-known companies to games journalists in terms of press releases and review code.

Both found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court, Kirton and Kaye were sentenced to 18 months (two years suspended) and nine months (12 months suspended) respectively. Kirton pleaded guilty to stealing a total of £18,963 which was spent on designer clothes, holidays, and – apparently – hen parties. Classy lady! Kaye, who also pleaded guilty, stole £5000 and five iPads. And some pens. Maybe. The money in question is said to have been associated with the launch of Black Ops.

Judge John Hillen said in sentencing, according to gamesidustry.biz:

You bought a large quantity of designer clothing. You spent time in luxury accommodation and you funded your engagement party through dishonest means. There was repeat dishonesty over a period of months. There is no doubt your wickedness deserves a severe sentence.

In the world of PR you are surrounded by luxury items. That is reality for people working in that industry. 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.

It’s not clear why the decision was taken to hand Kaye a suspended sentence, but Metro reports that Kirton avoided jail primarily because of the effect it would have on her two year old son.

Judge Hillen made it clear that a court of law is “not the place to explore the PR industry” and the apparently ever-increasing occurrences of fraud within it. So where is?

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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