Saturday April 13, 2013 : BRIT MANAGER STOLE OVER GBP 73,000 TO FEED ONLINE BINGO HABIT
 
Court sentences female admin manager to 20 months in jail
 
British administration manager Elizabeth Sutton  was sentenced to 20 months jail this week after she pleaded guilty to stealing some GBP 73,566 from her employer Camelot Automotive to fund an online bingo habit she sustained between December 1, 2009 and August 25, 2011.
 
The theft placed the future of the company ‘in jeopardy' and meant Sutton's colleagues were not given pay rises for two years, a Stoke-on-Trent Crown court was told.
 
Prosecutor Timothy Harrington told how the car components company, which had 11 employees, hired Sutton as its admin manager in 2005, giving her sole control over the company's finances. But she diverted money to her own use, paying it into two of her own bank accounts instead of paying creditors…and then spent the money on internet bingo.
 
In 2010 the owner of the company became aware that GBP 40,000 had not been paid to a company in Portugal. Thinking it was merely a technical error, he conducted investigations through two banks, and in 2012 it became apparent Sutton had been stealing the money.
 
The prosecutor told the court that the thefts had created financial problems for the company, and that as a result employees had no pay rises in 2012 or 2013, and the directors had to inject their own money to boost cash flow. The company is still surviving on a month to month basis.
 
Sutton's legal representative told the court that Sutton's husband spent some time abroad on business, and her loneliness prompted her to start visiting and gambling on bingo websites. This became a problem for her, and led to her stealing money from her employer on the presumption that she would be able to repay it. This had not proved possible, and she found herself taking increasing amounts to satisfy her desire to play bingo.
 
Sentencing Sutton, Judge David Fletcher said: "This theft has had a considerable effect on the owner of the company, his directors and your former colleagues. They have been prevented from having any pay rises for the last two years and their jobs were severely prejudiced and put at risk.
 
"When you are sitting in that prison cell, think about the effect you have had on your former colleagues, just because you wanted to engage in a whim of your own by gambling."