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Accounts manager jailed for stealing £451K from her employer

Monday 27th July, 2020

An accounts manager who defrauded her employers of more than £451K has been sentenced to 3 years 8 months in prison and ordered to pay back the proceeds of her crimes.

In 2011 she was employed as the office and accounts manager at Serfis Construction and Engineering Limited, a family-run construction company based in the West Midlands. She had sole responsibility for managing the payments into and out of the business accounts, as well as inputting account details onto the company system.

She was a trusted member of staff and treated like part of the family, due to the length of time she had been at the company. She was given her own company credit card, car and was able to sign cheques for the business.

In June 2018 concerns were raised about payments made to companies who Serfis did not have business dealings with. It was discovered that she had made payments to 3 fake companies and the funds had been processed into her own account. Between 2012 and 2018 it is believed that she stole in excess of £451K.

In December 2018, she was dismissed from the company and later charged with Fraud by Abuse of Position of Trust. On Friday 26th June 2020, at Worcester Crown Court she was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months imprisonment.

She was also ordered to pay back a total of £117,457.52 - which was the amount she was found to have available.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright, of the Economic Crime Unit, West Mercia Police, said, “The sentence imposed upon Collins reflects the severity of her crime and the abuse of the trust placed in her by her employers. This outcome is testament to a thorough criminal investigation by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department in North Worcestershire.”