02/03/2012 : PROBLEM GAMBLER BLEW GBP 400 000 OF EMPLOYERS MONEY
53-year-old woman said to have ‘wrecked' employer's life.
A compulsive online gambler who stole almost GBP 400 000 from her employer was sent to jail in Norfolk, UK this week after a judge criticised her for stealing not only the money but "a part of a decent man's life."
Suzan Smith, 53, admitted stealing GBP 398,651.26 from Graham Wuyts and Co Accountants in Attleborough, Norfolk and was sentenced by Judge Peter Jacobs to three years six months in jail.
The judge noted that the theft by Smith, who had been a trusted senior employee of the company, had had a "devastating" effect on both the company and its 63-year-old owner, Graham Wuyt, who had been forced to postpone his retirement by five years in order to recompense clients of his company impacted by the theft.
Kevin Eastwick, prosecuting, said Smith had worked at the firm since 1999 and had risen up the ranks from a receptionist to Wuyt's ‘right-hand man', handling a variety of crucial roles that including dealing with client accounts and paying company bills.
Smith's criminal behaviour came to light last July when the company ran into cash flow problems. A study of its finances revealed that GBP 65,000 was missing from the client account and GBP 250,000 from the company account.
Smith told police she had spent company money and used its credit card for years to fund her gambling habit as it spun out of control.