GOLF CLUB ACCOUNTANT BLEW STOLEN FUNDS ON INTERNET GAMBLING
30-year-old financial contractor spent GBP 242,156 of stolen money at Paddy Power.
James Cassidy, a 30-year-old accountant contracted to oversee the financial affairs of the Greenway Hall Golf Club, in Stockton Brook, Stoke-on-Trent has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for stealing over GBP 268,000 from the club and blowing most of it (GBP242,156) on internet wagering at Paddy Power, where he won back a mere GBP44,904.
The theft left the club in dire financial straits the court was told.
The prosecution led evidence in the Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that Cassidy, who was described as an apparently "competent, trustworthy and honest guy" operating his own accounting firm presented false graphs and statements to the club managing committee in his efforts to disguise his plundering.
The problems came to light in January this year when committee members asked to see a full set of accounts, and Cassidy admitted that he had taken money to feed a gambling obsession; a full investigation revealed that the full amount stolen was GBP 268,973.71, and Cassidy later pleaded guilty to taking the cash between November 19, 2013 and January 26, 2016.
Cassidys legal representative said that the accountant was sorry for his actions, and revealed that he had started gambling at the age of 14 and has sought assistance from Gamblers Anonymous.
Presiding Judge Paul Glenn told Cassidy: "You abused your position quite spectacularly. You transferred funds from the golf clubs account to accounts that you held and you failed to bank takings from the bar and shop. The owners are out of pocket to the sum of more than GBP 268,000.
Your offending affected the whole future of a well-established and well-respected club."