Friday 19th March, 2021
A council finance officer who stole more than £60,000 from her former employer to help pay off her accumulated credit card debts was sentenced to 12 months in prison at Nottingham Crown Court.
She was employed by Bassetlaw District Council as a revenue finance officer in the council’s business rates department.
Over a 12-month period, between October 2018 and October 2019 she diverted refunds of business rates due to be paid to a number of businesses into a single bank account.
After working for the council for around 28 years she made 21 refunds from a council account totalling £60,745.44.
The fraud was discovered when her address came up on the record of a refunded rate payer while her manager was reviewing the control reports.
She told her managers that she had taken the money to pay off credit card bills that had built up. After an investigation she was dismissed from her position with the council.
Police Constable Dan Weaver, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “She was a trusted long-serving council employee but she abused her position by manipulating the system for her own gain and committing fraud."
Neil Taylor, Chief Executive of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “This was an act of fraud involving public money and is a regrettable abuse of a position of trust within this authority.
“This criminal act was uncovered by council staff and referred to the police as soon as it had been discovered in line with the council’s anti-fraud strategy. The employee was dismissed for gross misconduct and did not appeal this decision.”
“Bassetlaw takes a hard line on all fraud cases and the fact that this was one of the council’s employees stealing public money is devastating for the organisation."