Glasgow & West Scotland

Susan McMahon jailed for embezzling £726,000 of charity cash

A woman has been jailed for 40 months for embezzling £726,765 from trusts that were set up to help charities.

Susan McMahon falsified documents while working as an assistant manager in the trust department of accountancy firm Grant Thornton between 2006 and 2013.

The 34-year-old, from Motherwell, was caught when a partner at the firm became suspicious about one payment.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard McMahon, who admitted her guilt, spent the cash on designer goods.

The court heard how McMahon falsified documents so her superiors would authorise cheques, believing that trustees had agreed the money would go to various beneficiaries such as Save the Children charity.

Given away

In one case, the mother-of-three also took £4,000 from a trust set up for three children.

Instead of going where the trustees planned, McMahon took the cash herself, transferring funds into accounts held by her and her husband.

She spent the money on luxury items and designer clothes, before giving the items away to charity shops to hide her spending from her family.

The court heard McMahon's husband had no knowledge of his wife's crimes.

She was caught in April 2013 when one of the partners in Grant Thornton authorised a cheque for £15,000 to be paid to the Sports University Scotland, an Aberdeen charity.

He became suspicious and carried out checks on the Margaret Murdoch Trust, which McMahon claimed had authorised the payment, and discovered no such payment had been approved.

Out of the 12 to 15 trusts administered by McMahon, six had funds belonging to them fraudulently removed and paid out to her or her husband's accounts.

The court heard no money has been repaid.

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