A MANAGER defrauded his company to take on staff, York Crown Court heard.

Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting, said Joao Manuel Cete, 56, found staff and paid them cash in hand with company money without his employer’s knowledge or consent

He worked for a national cleaning company whose employees had to be vetted to ensure they were not a security risk.

Graham Parkin, for Cete, said he didn't realise what he was doing was dishonest.

He had had problems recruiting staff because of the job’s low pay and company difficulties with recruitment agencies and a jobs website, the solicitor said.

So Cete asked current employees if their friends would take casual work with the company.

He got the money by overpaying employee Tracey Anne MacLean, 51, and another who has since left the UK. They then gave him the extra money in cash for him to pass on to the new employees.

Cete, of Acomb Wood Close, Acomb, pleaded guilty to fraud totalling £9,807 and MacLean, of Albany Road, Rothwell, Leeds, to possessing criminal cash. Each were given a 12-month community order - Cete's with 40 hours’ unpaid work and MacLean's with 10 days’ rehabilitative activities.