Accountant embezzled £200,000 to repay money she stole from another company
An accounts executive, who embezzled over £200,000 from her employers, was using some of the cash to repay another company she had stolen tens of thousands of pounds from.
Donna Robertson, 33, of Mallace Avenue, Bathgate, was jailed for 31 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today by Sheriff Alistair Noble, who told her: “Only a custodial sentence can be imposed here”. She had, he said, carried out the second embezzlement over a two year period. Part of the money went to repay the previous firm and a substantial part of the money was used to acquire assets for herself.
Robertson had pled guilty previously to embezzling £221,024.33 between December 1, 2008, and November 8, 2010, while employed by the office supply company, Streamline Group. Sentence had been deferred for background reports.
Robertson did not tell Streamline at her job interview that she was facing a prison sentence for stealing from her previous employer. The court heard that in November 2010, she failed to turn up for work and the firm received an “odd excuse” from her husband as to why she was not there. She was, in fact, being sentenced for the earlier embezzlement. It was only when HMRC Inspectors arrived to examine Streamline’s books that her bosses realised she had been jailed. HMRC discovered that Robertson had been writing cheques for her own benefit.
Defence solicitor, Neil Stewart, said his client expressed her deep remorse for the distress her actions had caused her employers, family and friends. Following the birth of a son in 2007, she suffered from post-natal depression and had fears that she would lose her house because she had fallen behind in mortgage payments. She was also afraid of not being able to provide for her family.
Mr Stewart added: “She got into a spiral of difficulties. She knew she would eventually be caught, but she thought there was no other way out of the mess she had got into. She allowed things to get out of control and was robbing Peter to pay Paul”.
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