Glasgow & West Scotland

Cashier Elaine Barrett jailed for embezzling £300,000

A woman who embezzled £300,000 to fund her online roulette gambling addiction has been jailed for 15 months.

Elaine Barrett admitted taking cash from 49 people's accounts at Nationwide Building Society, in Cambridge Street, Glasgow, where she worked as a cashier.

The offences took place between January 2008 and January 2010.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard how Barrett was caught after a cheque transfer from a woman's account that was closed to a fictitious account was spotted.

The court heard that when a customer went to the building society to close their account and move the money to another account, Barrett would give them a receipt and transfer the cash to a made-up account.

She was caught when a hand-written cheque for £9,229, transferring money from a woman's account that was closed, to a fictitious account, was spotted.

'Serious fraud'

An investigation later showed that an account Barrett had used was linked to an online gambling site and money had been transferred to that.

The mother-of-four, from Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, pleaded guilty to embezzling £300,000.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Bill Totten told her there was no alternative sentence to custody.

He said: "You pled guilty to a crime which represents a lengthy and serious fraud.

"It was a serious breach of trust and a large amount of money was involved."

The sheriff added that he took into account she was not funding a "lavish lifestyle".

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