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Council payments team leader jailed for defrauding her employer

Thursday 6th August, 2020

A council payments team leader who stole more than £260,000 from her employers has been sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for four years in jail.

She stole the money from Knowsley Council by redirecting unclaimed cheques sent to suppliers to her own bank account.

As a well-respected member staff she managed the team that made sure that the Council's suppliers were paid for services delivered. 

She was also responsible for voiding cheques that had been sent out to suppliers that had not been presented for payment after six months.

Over a ten-year period she transferred many of these unpresented cheques to her own bank account, through a complex manipulation of Council systems, defrauding Knowsley Council of £260,382, according The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

She had worked for Knowsley Council for almost 40 years and had abused her position to commit a considerable and ongoing fraud involving 122 separate transactions. She was suspended from her job in April 2019 and an investigation was launched.

Knowsley Council, Executive Director of Resources, James Duncan, said: "Her role and her employment means she would have been aware of the challenges the Council was facing in continuing to be able to provide key support services to our communities and trying to address and rebalance the inequalities faced by many of our residents.”

He added: "She was previously regarded as a well-respected member of staff by her colleagues and managers. She was widely known across the Council.”

Senior Crown Prosecutor Kelly Ward of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: "That long career and her reputation are now in ruins. Exactly why she began this course of action, we may never know. She has blamed personal problems and mounting debts.”

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