Tuesday December 15,2015 : JAIL SENTENCE FOR BOOK KEEPER WHO BLEW A MILLION STERLING ON INTERNET GAMBLING
Gambling grannie received VIP treatment from online gambling operator, which now has to pay the money back.
A 57-year-old divorced grandmother and book keeper lived the high life as a VIP online gambler but in reality obtained her money through defrauding her employers, and earned just GBP 3,000 a month, a UK court in Maidstone was told this week.
Caroline Dumont was convicted of stealing almost a million pounds from the companies she worked for and was sent to jail for three years and four months for her dishonesty after admitting that she stole GBP 913,000 from Tara Plant Hire and GBP 33,000 from Steadfast Carpentry, the Kent Messenger newspaper reports.
Dumont started playing online in 2011 following her divorce, and at the peak of her activity was spending up to GBP 50,000 a month on the slots at Mecca Bingo.com, a subsidiary of the Rank Group.
Small wonder, then, that the operators classified her as a VIP and rewarded her with a trip to Las Vegas and a cruise in the Caribbean. The reality was that she lived in a council home, earned just GBP 36,000 a year and drove a thirteen-year-old car.
The court was told that Dumont's activities have severely impacted both her employers, almost bankrupting one of them.
Dumont admitted to the court that her thefts had started with small amounts but had escalated as she grew more confident.
“I had been at Tara six years and they trusted me. I took GBP 50 one week. Then I was short again, so I borrowed GBP100. Soon I was taking as much as GBP 3,000 every few days. At its height I was taking up to GBP 20,000 a week, betting GBP 250 a time," she admitted.
Dumont turned on the internet gambling operator in her submission to the court, claiming that her level of gambling activity was so high that Mecca Bingo should have noticed and taken action.
“I could’ve been stopped," she said. "In 2012 Mecca had enough evidence to trigger a warning system. When gambling spirals out of control it’s their duty to tell the Gambling Commission.”
The Gambling Commission has ordered Mecca owner Rank Digital to forfeit the GBP 950,000 profit it made from her betting, and the company confirms that it has "…voluntarily surrendered profits from Miss Dumont’s transaction, as agreed with the Gambling Commission.”