Trusted employee stole £30k

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A former office manager who embezzled £30,000 from her Cumbernauld employers faces a lengthy jail term afterpleasing guilty to the crime.

Elizabeth Smith (53) admitted her guilt at Airdrie Sheriff Court last week, with the money being stolen over a one year period.

She was employed by West of Scotland Storage Limited, which is based in Wardpark South, and the offence was committed between February 22, 2015 and February 20, 2016.

Prosecutor Gordon Crawford told the court: “She appeared in private in court on October 19, 2016 when she was released on bail.

“Smith had been employed by the firm for 30 years and rose to the position of office manager, her role including the payment of wages and invoices. During the period when the crime took place she manipulated the system, creating duplicate invoices from the suppliers and paying the sums received into her own bank account.

“In early 2016 she was absent from work on medical grounds. The person covering for her received a query andout an invoice and she uncovered the double invoices. This led to a review and 36 false invoices were found. A director of the company called her in and she was challenged about the irregularities and admitted what she had done. She left the company at that point.

“An arrangement for repayment was made and the matter was reported to the police. She made a ‘no comment’ interview to police officers, was arrested and charged. As far as I am aware there has been no repayment made as yet.”

Defence lawyer Paul Nicolson said: “She is the joint owner of her house which is in the process of being solf.”

Sheriff Petra Collins deferred sentence until next month (August) to obtain a full social background report.

Smith, of West Avenue, Plains, Airdrie, was also served in the dock by a police officer with a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. A hearing was scheduled to coincide with her next court date.

Jimmy Campbell, former director at West of Scotland Storage, commented: “Liz Smith has caused us a lot of inconvenience due to her behaviour.

“Thankfully, despite her deception there were no job losses, just a lot of money out of the cash flow. She had worked with us since she was 15 years old and that made her betrayal of trust even worse.”