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Interim finance manager stole from Grenfell victims’ fund

Tuesday 4th September, 2018

A Kensington and Chelsea Council employee has pleaded guilty to stealing from a fund setup for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

The Interim Finance Manager was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, one count of theft by employee and one count of money laundering.

In this trusted position she was responsible for a team of people, including four finance officers and five business support officers.

Her high-level responsibilities included overseeing the processing of all payment requests both non-order and non-invoice related.

She withdrew £62,000 using the council’s pre-paid credit cards to pay for expensive holidays and online gambling.

According to the Evening Standard, Prosecutor Robert Simpson described her as a "serial fraudster" who "lives beyond her means and gambles".

Mr Simpson said McDonagh is also under investigation for suspected frauds against former employers Medway NHS Trust in Kent and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

A spokesman for Kensington and Chelsea Council said: "We discovered the fraud and took action straight away, including strengthening our internal processes."