Great British Menu chef Stephen Terry victim of £150,000 fraud after couple he employed fleeced him of money

Wife Nicola pleads guilty, but her husband continues to deny role in fraudulent activity...

Updated on • Written By Ellie Donnell

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Great British Menu chef Stephen Terry victim of £150,000 fraud after couple he employed fleeced him of money

Celebrity chef Stephen Terry has been left £150,000 worse off after a couple he employed fleeced his restaurant of the huge sum of money.

Terry, who was the best man at Gordon Ramsay’s wedding, is the head chef and owner of The Hardwick restaurant in Abergavenny. Nicola Nightingale, who he employed as his office administrator, was siphoning off thousands of pounds to her husband, Simon Nightingale, who worked as a chef, via fake invoices, fraudulent loans and falsely inflating her pay.


While Nicola has since pleaded guilty to fraud in court, her husband Simon denies playing a part in the misconduct, stating he was not aware the money his wife was transferring into his account were ‘proceeds of criminal conduct’.

Nicola paid a total of £46,741.57 into Simon’s account between May 2018 and February 2020 - a total of 55 fraudulent transactions. Apparently, she convinced Stephen Terry to let Simon work shifts when The Hardwick was busy, helping out for never more than four hours at a time during a particularly hectic service.

‘We thought Simon was coming in to help us out and doing us a favour’, explains the chef.

However, he discovered that two loans had been taken out in his name for £40,000 that he didn’t approve. These were just two of a number of payments totaling the £150,000.

Nicola began working for Terry in February 2018 and was responsible for the restaurant's finances - including paying wages to the staff. She resigned from the role in March 2020, after two years of fraudulent activity that included creating fake names for suppliers and inflating her own salary.

The court prosecutor said: ‘Mrs Nightingale fraudulently took money from the restaurant and she paid it into a number of bank accounts of hers and her husband.’

Simon denies possessing criminal property.

Reporting on an interview between Simon and the police, the prosecutor states: ‘He [Simon] gave a prepared statement. He effectively placed the blame on his wife. He said she had access to his account.’

‘He stated [that] he worked at the Hardwick restaurant and his wages didn't go through the books.’

The trial continues at Cardiff Crown Court.

In other news, The OWO, home to the first Raffles hotel in London, has announced two of its nine restaurants

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