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Charity embezzler sentenced

A payroll manager who embezzled nearly £360,000 from the British Red Cross has been jailed for more than two years.

Mary Booth pretended to make payments to international delegates and charity employees at the organisation where she had worked for 34 years.

Instead she was transferring the money into her own bank accounts. She told Paisley Sheriff Court she had taken the money in order to pay debts accrued from a gambling addiction.

The court heard that the embezzlement was uncovered when an audit of payroll systems was carried out in March 2016.

The 56-year-old pleaded guilty to embezzling £359,551.27 between 1 November 2008 and 31 August 2015, when she appeared at Paisley Sheriff Court on July 20th. She was jailed for 27 months on August 17th.

Laura Mundell, Procurator Fiscal for North Strathclyde said:

“Mary Booth took advantage of being in a position of trust and responsibility to embezzle cash on a large scale over a number of years. Her deception led to hundreds of thousands of pounds being taken from a charity for her own gain.

“We take such criminality very seriously and will not stop at prosecution. Proceeds of Crime proceedings have now been commenced to ensure profits obtained through criminal conduct are confiscated from those who do not deserve them.”