Bookkeeper in accounts fraud shame

York Press: Bookkeeper in accounts fraud shame Bookkeeper in accounts fraud shame

A bookkeeper who forged bank documents as she tried to conceal the way she had falsified a company's accounts has been ordered to do 150 hours' unpaid work.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said Claire Louise Walker, 44, made six unauthorised transfers to herself totalling £8,614 from Centeng of Hessay Industrial Estate between November 2011 and September 2013.

When one of its directors queried the final transfer of £2,400 from the company bank account, the mother-of-two produced documents she said came from Barclay's Bank indicating it was investigating her complaint that her account with them had been hacked.

But the documents were forged and she had not contacted them about any hacking.

Her barrister Stephen Grattage said she had had financial difficulties and instead of asking for help had tried to solve them by herself by taking the money and returning it, rather than formally asking for a loan.

"It is a tragedy that this woman is here before the court at all," she said. "It is entirely all her own doing. She is a stalwart daughter, mother and wife."

Walker, of North Duffield, near Selby, pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud by abuse of position and was given a community order with 150 hours' unpaid work. York Crown Court heard she had already repaid at least £2,400, but the exact amount has yet to be decided. She had no previous convictions and had had sole responsibility for the company's books for ten years before her crimes began.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said: "I am sure that you take your shame really very seriously and you are extremely worried about the impact of all of this upon the wider family, some of them of whom are in difficult circumstances at the moment."

She will return in four weeks' time to court when a judge is expected to declare how much she has yet to repay. Her barrister said she wanted to repay all the money she had taken.

Mr Grattage said she had been diagnosed with depression before the crimes began. Companies were still willing to employ her despite knowing about her crimes.

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