North Yorkshire Credit Union fraudster in court

York Press: . .

A LOANS officer who carried out two frauds at the North Yorkshire Credit Union before it collapsed has been ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

Tricia Louisa Helena Matthews was also given an 18-month supervision order by a judge at York Crown Court and ordered to pay £2,130 in compensation to the credit union.

Last month Matthews, 58, of Severus Street in Acomb, had wiped away tears in the dock as she admitted two charges of fraud by setting up credit union accounts in two different names and issuing cheques worth £2,130 in two more names at the not-for-profit organisation, which specialised in helping people who had difficulty getting credit.

She had previously defrauded a string of York businesses, including stealing more than £6,400 by fiddling the books of the Queen’s Hotel in Skeldergate during a six-month period in 2004 while providing maternity cover for a hotel manager, defrauding another York employer in 1991, a Ryedale business in 1992 and a third York company in 1995.

When she was sentenced for the Queen’s Hotel offences, the judge told her no employer was safe when they looked to her for assistance because it seemed to him that, given the opportunity, she would steal from her employer when she could.

The police investigation that uncovered her crimes at the credit union was separate to the Financial Services Authority investigation into the organisation’s collapse, which happened in November 2012 after it had operated for six years.

Joint liquidator Kevin Murphy, of Chantry Vellocott DRK, said shortly after his appointment that the credit union had bad debt provisions of more than £400,000 to members because of “inadequate credit referencing and credit control.”

It also had inadequate cost control partly due to the need to service a large area. He said all 5,000 investors in the scheme would get their money back.

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