Fraudster stole from one boss to pay off theft from another

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A WOMAN stole more than £221,000 from her employers to pay off the money she had stolen from her previous bosses, a court has heard.

Donna Robertson, 33, pocketed £221,043 over a 23-month period while she worked as an accounts executive for the Edinburgh-based Streamline Group.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard yesterday that Robertson didn’t tell Streamline bosses at her job interview that she was already facing jail for stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her old employers.

As a result she spent almost two years at the office supply company writing cheques which she cashed and used to her own benefit.

The court heard how Robertson used tens of thousands of pounds of the money to pay back a sum that she pocketed from her old bosses.

It also heard how Robertson was only caught when her husband phoned into her bosses and gave them an “odd excuse” about why his wife hadn’t turned up for work one day.

Her bosses then realised that she had been jailed for stealing cash from her old employers – and that was only because HMRC staff arrived at Streamline to inspect its books. Inspectors then discovered that she had taken £221,043 from Streamline.

Robertson, of Bathgate, West Lothian, pleaded guilty to embezzling cash between December 1, 2008, and November 8, 2010, from the Streamline Group, before Sheriff Alistair Noble.

She also faced a charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act alleging that she used some of the money to buy a house in Armadale, West Lothian.

Her husband Garry Robertson, 32, also stood accused on the Proceeds of Crime charge.

However, depute procurator fiscal John Kirk agreed not to pursue the charge after the pair pleaded not guilty to the allegation and Donna admitted the fraud.

Mr Kirk said Robertson’s scam began on December 1, 2008, when she started working for Streamline.

He said: “Streamline are a family-run business. The accused was an accounts executive at the company.

“She wrote a number of cheques which she used for her own benefit. In one case she was paying back a sum that she had taken from her previous employers.

“Nothing was amiss until November 2010 when the accused didn’t turn up for work. Her employers received an odd excuse from her husband regarding her non-appearance at work one day.

“In actual fact the accused was being sentenced for a directly analogous offence.”

The court heard that HMRC staff and police officers arrived at Streamline to inspect it books and found that Robertson had taken more than £200,000 without the permission of the company’s bosses.

The criminal was then charged with embezzlement by fraud squad detectives.

The court heard that Robertson had been diagnosed with depression when she was serving her last prison sentence.

Sheriff Noble deferred sentence on Robertson for reports until August 27.