Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Accounts executive Donna Robertson jailed for second embezzlement

An accounts executive who embezzled more than £220,000 from her employers was using some of the money to repay another firm she had stolen from, a court has heard.

Donna Robertson, from Bathgate, was jailed for 31 months after carrying out her second embezzlement in two years.

The 33-year-old admitted stealing £221,000 from office supply company Streamline Group between 2008 and 2010.

Streamline only found out about the theft when HMRC examined its books.

Robertson did not tell Streamline at her job interview that she was facing a prison sentence for stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her previous employer.

The court heard that in November 2010, Robertson failed to turn up for work and Streamline received an "odd excuse" from her husband as to why she was not there.

She was, in fact, being sentenced for the earlier embezzlement. It was only when HMRC inspectors arrived to examine Streamline's books that Robertson's bosses realised she had been jailed.

And HMRC discovered that the executive had also been writing Streamline cheques for her own benefit.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard part of the money went to repay the previous firm and a substantial part of the money was used to acquire assets for herself.

Post-natal depression

Robertson's defence solicitor Neil Stewart said: "She got into a spiral of difficulties.

"She knew she would eventually be caught, but she thought there was no other way out of the mess she had got into.

"She allowed things to get out of control and was robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Mr Stewart said his client had expressed deep remorse for the distress her actions had caused. He said that following the birth of a son in 2007, she suffered from post-natal depression and feared she would lose her house because she had fallen behind in mortgage payments.

The solicitor added that there was the possibility of Proceeds of Crime action being taken.

Robertson wept as she was sentenced, with Sheriff Alistair Noble telling her: "Only a custodial sentence can be imposed here."

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