A woman who ‘abused her position of trust’ to defraud her employers out of more than £61,000 has been given a suspended jail term.
But Victoria Salt, 32, of Britannia Street, Leek, has been told she must pay back the money to Tarmac Building Products Ltd in Buxton within 21 days or face years behind bars.
She helped herself to £61,441.96 in just nine months from her employers by fraudulently carrying our refunds from old accounts into her own bank.
During a sentencing hearing at Derby Crown Court on Monday, Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said: “Between September 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015 the defendant was in a position of trust at Tarmac.
“She abused this position of trust as a team leader for the company and refunded from accounts that were settled so people wouldn’t be checking on them.”
The court was told how her deceit only came to light when the defendant was about to go on holiday and gave a diary which contained appointments and meetings to another team leader.
Ms Joyce told the court that left inside the diary were Salt’s private bank statements - which she needed as she was trying to get a mortgage.
She said: “Another team leader, Sally Stretch, spotted the paperwork and saw that refunds were being made into Salt’s account from Tarmac.”
After handing it to her supervisor an internal investigation was launched. The court heard that in a 12-week period Salt had taken £17,000.
In mitigation, Hal Ewing said: “The defendant knows she has done wrong and pleaded guilty at the first instance.”
The court heard that after being questioned by police, she then went away and did her own research into her credit card statements which she took to the police station showing further fraudulent activity.
Mr Ewing said: “She was greatly overweight when she was younger and never really socialised. As she lost weight and met her partner she felt she did not have the money for new clothes. She acted with a degree of maturity of someone much younger but this was out of character for her and she is very remorseful of her actions.”
Salt was given a two-year suspended sentence and a community order of 150 hours’ unpaid work.
‘Thoroughly dishonest deceit’
In sentencing Salt, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “This offence is thoroughly dishonest deceit at its highest. It is only sheer luck that you were caught otherwise it would have continued.
“Your family has had to pay for your mistake and yet you don’t allow your mother in court but she should know what you have done.
“I want to be notified of the payment or you will be here again and there will be no tears from you and no mercy from me.”