AN EMBEZZLING bar manager swindled £5,000 from a New Town pub by booking bands that never appeared and pocketing the cash.
Shona Eadie devised an elaborate scam involving forged receipts for phantom gigs at the Lord Bodos in Dublin Street.
She was only caught when former friend and boss Diana Currie grew suspicious and rumbled Eadie’s two-year con.
“I was absolutely devastated when I realised what she was up to – totally gutted,” said Diana, 40.
“When you talk about trusting people, I’ve totally changed. I find it really difficult to trust people now.”
Eadie, 39, from Leith, admitted embezzling the Lord Bodos of £5,000.20 between February 2012 and February 2014 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week. She was handed a one-year community payback order and told to reimburse the pub.
The sheriff accepted Eadie’s not guilty plea on a further charge of defrauding the pub out of £5,880.55 in bogus wages.
Underground bar Lord Bodos is a popular after-show drinking den for top comedians during the Fringe.
Stars including Stewart Lee, Stephen K Amos and Mark Thomas have been spotted there in recent years.
The intimate bar, with space inside for fewer than ten small tables, is around the corner from the Stand Comedy Club and open until 3am in August.
Regulars have raised money for good causes in the past, including local children’s charity The Yard.
Diana, area manager for the company that owned Lord Bodos at the time, was in court last week to hear Eadie’s guilty plea.
“I met her through mutual friends and have known her for 15 or 20 years,” said Diana. “I even gave her the job.”
“We were really, really good mates and went down to London together. We went on nights out all the time.”
But then came Eadie’s cruel betrayal. “She denied it all at first but then I confronted her about it in my car and she broke down crying,” said Diana.
“She said she was so sorry and she had a gambling problem.
“She sent me text messages saying she was sorry and I had them on my phone that were used as evidence.”
“She was quite clever. I’d go down and check the takings on a Friday afternoon in sealed bags. She’d take from the bags.
“She’d take £350 at a time and bought a receipt book. She’d write a receipt for a band that never played, staple it to the bag and send it off to the accountants.”
Helping herself to relatively small amounts at a time and covering her tracks with the elaborate receipt book cover meant Eadie got away with it for years.
But with time she became more brazen and this would eventually lead to her downfall.
“I noticed she had put herself down for a double shift on a Sunday – but the pub was shut and when I asked her about it, she stumbled.”
Diana has changed jobs and now wants to move on. “It’s been going on for three years. I’m just relieved that it’s finally over because it’s dragged on so long.
“I’m just relieved that people now know the truth about her and know what she’s really like.”