A sales controller stole more than £41,000 from dealer group Perrys because he was being threatened by loan sharks.
James Bergquist traded on 19 used cars which had been taken in part-exchange but did not hand over the cash to his dealership in Burnley.
Bergquist admitted 19 counts of theft, totalling just over £41,000, between January and May last year.
Burnley Crown Court gave Bergquist six months to make restitution after hearing he had a new job and could pay back the proceeds.
The prosecution accepted he had been subjected to serious threats from a moneylender, having borrowed £2,000 in 2005 in Liverpool and been unable to pay it back, and had gone to the police.
The court was told Bergquist has since repaid £12,400 to Perrys, leaving about £28,000 outstanding.
Sentence was deferred until March 4th, on condition he pays back at least £500 a month to Perrys, and does not commit any more offences.
In his defence, the court was told Bergquist had had the opportunity of going to the police but had no confidence because of things that happened in Merseyside.
He decided not to and was trying to get out of his problems in the best way he could, which in his twisted logic meant taking money both from his employer and family.