Thursday, February 19, 2009

Former R Betts Construction employee jailed for ВЈ625,000 fraud

The former employee of a Merseyside construction firm has been jailed for five and a half years after she was found guilty of stealing ВЈ625,000.

Sheila Hodgetts, who was a secretary in charge of accounts at Waterloo-based R Betts Construction, paid money to fictitious employees between November 2002 and May 2007.

She creamed off the cash to pay for foreign holidays, a deposit on a house, and former employers from whom she had also stolen, according to the Crosby Herald.

Hodgetts' thefts caused cash flow problems for the firm, which was forced to reduce its workforce from 41 to 15.

The court heard that Hodgetts had also stolen around ВЈ125,000 from Allenbuild earlier in her career but had escaped prosecution.

Sentencing Hodgetts, Judge Mark Brown said: "I am satisfied you stole from this firm [R Betts Construction] in a systematic, cold and ruthless way by seriously abusing their friendship and trust."

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