A TRUSTED financial worker at one of Scotland’s top legal firms has been jailed for 21 months after embezzling almost £180,000.
Teresa Kidd, 44, pocketed the money from her unsuspecting employer, Maclay Murray & Spens, where she worked for more than 20 years.
She duped bosses into signing off documents they thought detailed cash being used to pay for the services of advocates but instead was paying the money into accounts owned by her and her then partner.
Kidd, from Cumbernauld, admitted at Glasgow Sheriff Court that between October 2006 and November 2011, she embezzled £178,696 from the firm, based in Glasgow’s George Square.
Sentencing Kidd yesterday, Sheriff John McCormick told her he took into consideration she had no previous convictions and had embezzled money to fund her ex-partner’s gambling habit.
He added: “However, you were a long-standing and trusted employee of a firm of solicitors in Glasgow; you used that trust and experience to embezzle £178,000.
“You did so skilfully, repeatedly and over a period of approximately five years.”
The court heard Kidd had joined the company in 1987 and became a trusted member of staff, being promoted to purchase ledger supervisor.
Lesley Chambers, prosecuting, told the court: “As such, she was responsible for making payments to creditors, clients and other beneficiaries using money withdrawn from the corporate bank account of Maclay Murray & Spens.”
Mrs Chambers said cash paid out would be drawn up on a “purchase run document” with a list of creditors, the amounts paid and the relevant bank details.
This was signed off by the financial controller, who carried out random sample checks. A senior member of staff would check that the amounts tallied with the outgoing details.
Kidd “double submitted” invoices to the law firm, one with the correct bank details so the cash was paid to the right people, and a second invoice with her personal bank details.
An investigation was carried out and Kidd accepted full responsibility for what she had done.
The court heard that her former partner was a heavy drinker and gambler, and she had been under “psychological pressure” from him.
Solicitor advocate Ross Brown, defending, said: “This is completely different to a person who undertook a calculated course of conduct for personal gain. This does not appear to be the case when dealing with Teresa Kidd.”
He said she had two children and a grandchild and “since the matter has come to light she has not been in employment”.