Mum stole £236,000 from employers after gambling 'spiralled out of control'
PUBLISHED: 11:46 18 April 2019
An Ipswich mother with a gambling addiction who stole £236,000 from her employers after her addiction "spiralled out of control" has been jailed for three years.
Sentencing Rebecca Mowat Judge John Devaux said her dishonesty over a period of at least two years had a considerable detrimental impact on Cooks Waste Kare and the company had just managed to survive.
He said Mowat had become addicted to gambling and despite her efforts to stop her behaviour had spiralled out of control.
Mowat, 45, of Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich, admitted fraud by abuse of position.
A hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place later this year.
Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Mowat had been employed as a bookkeeper and administrator for Cooks Waste Kare Ltd which ran its skip hire and recycling business from a yard in Raeburn Road, Ipswich.
She began her employment in 2011 and her role involved managing the company accounts and payroll.
In September 2015 she had tried to hand in her notice but a suitable replacement couldn't be found and her annual salary was increased from £22,000 to £32,000.
Mowat left the company in October 2016 and her replacement found she had made double payments for the same thing with one payment being made to the creditor and a duplicate payment being made to her own bank account.
It was also discovered she had used the company credit card to buy theatre tickets.
A financial investigator found that Mowat had six bank accounts and two of them had received a total of £340,000 during a period when her earnings were £107,000.
It was also discovered that Mowat had paid £360,000 to gambling sites and that £276,000 had come in from gambling sites.
Mr Crimp said that Trevor Cook the owner of Cooks Waste Kare said that in addition to the impact on his business the theft had made him feel physically ill.
He said the business had incurred more than £70,000 in bank charges as a result of Mowat's dishonesty and the theft had put huge stress and strain on his loyal staff.
Folishade Abiodun said her client had no previous convictions and asked the court to consider passing a suspended sentence.
“She is deeply remorseful and she would like me to extend her apologies to the court,” said Miss Abiodun.
She said Mowat had a gambling addiction which had spiralled out of control.