A bridegroom “blinded by love” for his thieving wife was unaware of her £200,000 scam.
That was the verdict of the jury at Preston Crown Court, which took three and a half hours to deliver a unanimous not guilty verdict in the trial of 36-year-old Graham Lane.
Mr Lane was accused of converting more than £70,000 of criminal cash that his wife Kirsty, 29, had stolen from her employer, Pure Audio Visual Ltd, based in Bamber Bridge.
But during the three-day trial, in which the court heard Mrs Lane splashed out on cars, designer watches and a lavish wedding, Mr Lane maintained he was simply “lax” about the couple’s finances.
At one point, he told the court, he estimated his wife-to-be had spent in the region of £50,000.
But when questioned, Mrs Lane – a former bankrupt – told her husband she had savings and was receiving extra payments for overtime from her employer.
Mr Lane, of Ashfield Road, Adlington, told the jury: “I was intending to marry her.
“I had no reason not to trust her.”
The couple married in a lavish celebration at The Great Hall at Mains, in which bridesmaids were given jewel encrusted iPods and guests were entertained by a harpist, saxophonist and swing singer.
A firework display spelled out the couple’s initial’s during the evening.
Kirsten McAteer, prosecuting, told the jury the case rested on whether Mr Lane was “blinded by love” for his future wife.
Mr Lane admitted he still did not know the cost of the wedding, but agreed it must have been a “costly” occasion.
However, he was unaware between June 2009 and December 2010, Mrs Lane, an accounts assistant, was using her company’s internet banking facility to make payments to the couple’s bank accounts.
Mrs Lane, 29, has already pleaded guilty to cheating around £200,000 from Pure Audio Visual Ltd, the company she worked for.
However, Mr Lane insisted he was not aware of payments being made in and out of his account and was cleared of any involvement.
Kirsty Lane will be sentenced for a number of offences of fraud on June 20.