Tayside and Central Scotland

Woman stole £50k from Ninewells Hospital charity fund

An NHS secretary has admitted embezzling £55,000 from a Dundee hospital charity fund.

Lorraine Warden forged the signature of a doctor at Ninewells Hospital in order to take the money, which was intended to pay for medical staff, equipment and training.

An investigation found the 44 year old had written 61 cheques to herself.

She told police she had taken the money due to spiralling debts from payday loans.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Warden had been working as a secretary for NHS Tayside and the University of Dundee when she took the money, which had been donated to the Tayside Otolaryngology Fund.

Dr Stephen Jones, the only signatory on the bank account for the fund, noticed discrepancies between a spreadsheet used to manage the fund's money, chequebook stubs and the bank account.

An investigation revealed a total of 62 cheques, including one in the name of Warden's daughter, had been cashed for a total of £55,000 between 2007 and 2012.

Warden, of Muirhead, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of embezzlement.

Sheriff Elizabeth Munro deferred sentence for the preparation of reports, and allowed Warden bail meantime.

The Tayside Otolaryngology Fund, which was in place to "provide staff, instruments, equipment or materials for the purposes of promoting and furthering research and advancing specialist techniques", ceased to operate in November 2013.

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