A COLLEGE administrator who was jailed for embezzling nearly half a million pounds so she could live the high life and buy friendships has been ordered to repay £62,463.

Julia Hogg, 43, of Field Lane, Thorpe Willoughby, near Selby, was sentenced to 44 months in prison in March this year after admitting fraud and false accounting.

Leeds Crown Court heard over at least four years she diverted funds intended to pay for child care for students taking up places at Leeds City College.

By the time her dishonesty was uncovered she had defrauded £479,379 from the scheme.

She appeared over a video link from HMP Askham Grange near York yesterday to the same court where that sum of £479,379 was agreed as her benefit from crime.

Robert Galley prosecuting said the available amount for confiscation was £62,463 to include proceeds from the property in Field Lane and a ring already in the possession of the police.

He said the money would be applied as compensation to the college. Judge Rodney Jameson QC allowed three months for the amount to be paid with two years in prison in default.

At the sentencing hearing in March the court heard Hogg had spent money on holidays, buying designer clothes for herself and her partner and buying items for other people’s children.

She even deceived relatives whom she bought meals and other items for that she had come into a large inheritance to justify the money she was spending.

She told police she was depressed “and would try to buy friendship.”

Kara Frith representing her told the court “she was desperately trying to buy her way out of insecurity.”

She said Hogg had initially started transferring a small amount into her own bank account to help pay for her mortgage when she was at risk of losing her home but that things had escalated.

“She accepts it continued and payments increased in amounts and frequency part through greed and part by a desire to be liked by others.”

Miss Frith said Hogg was shocked when she found out the total involved. “Some was spent on herself but the majority on others.”

That had included paying her partner’s rent and bills. She convinced everybody she had come into a large inheritance. “While it is no justification she had significant self-esteem issues and lack of confidence.”

She said Hogg would come out of prison with nothing and “her reputation in tatters.”

Mr Galley prosecuting the case said Hogg had started working for the college as an administrator in 2009 at a salary of £14,800. When her dishonesty was discovered she was earning £16,000 a year.

The fraud came to light last year after an audit showed the money was going into the same BACS account as her salary and she was sacked in October.