Scott Rennie, 29, previously pleaded guilty to embezzling £54,493 from pension, insurance and investment company Aegon UK from its offices in Lochside Crescent, Edinburgh, between December 3, 2014, and April 14 last year.
Rennie appeared for sentence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday, when he was jailed for 16 months.
Described as a prisoner at HMP Edinburgh, he worked as a complaints handler at the company – a role which gave him access to the IT system containing customers’ details.
Defence solicitor David Fitzpatrick told Sheriff Frank Crowe that Rennie had a considerable amount of debt and was suffering from depression. “He knew he was going to be caught,” said Mr Fitzpatrick, who stated that his client had admitted guilt and pleaded guilty early.
Fiscal depute Anthony Steele told the court Rennie submitted a payment request for £825 to allegedly compensate a customer and paid it into his own bank account. He then made three payments of £736, £2749 and £2182 into his account.
On April 14, last year, an electronic transfer of £48,000 was made from the Aegon Pension Fund disguised as a third-party payment and Rennie left the company in May. In August 2015, the Sheriff Court heard a financial adviser was reviewing the pension fund and became anxious regarding the £48,000 payment.
Investigations showed the money had been put into Rennie’s personal account.
The police were contacted and when Rennie was approached, he owned up to what he had been doing.
Rennie’s defence said action was being taken under the Proceeds of Crime Act and his client had asked the sheriff to consider a community payback order as an alternative to custody.
But Sheriff Crowe told Rennie: “There is a large amount of money involved. You were at a fairly low level in the organisation but you had a pivotal role in a position of trust. A custodial sentence in inevitable.
“You got over your head in debt. You should have tried to arrange some form of payment to your creditors.”
Detective inspector Arron Clinkscales from the economic crime unit said Rennie had “betrayed” his employers’ “trust”.