Glasgow & West Scotland

Manager embezzled £200,000 to fund lavish lifestyle

Maria Weir Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Maria Weir used the money to pay for a wedding reception and luxury holidays

A manager stole almost £200,000 from her employer and spent the cash on her wedding reception and holidays.

Maria Weir, 62, admitted taking the money while she was operations manager at Scottish Intellectual Asset Management between 2005 and 2011.

Weir also bought bridal wear, concert tickets and groceries.

She was given unrestricted access to the company bank accounts and used her position to authorise bogus payments to her own bank account.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court Weir pleaded guilty to embezzling £199,880.84 from the company.

'Intricate system'

The court heard Weir created an "intricate system of emails and invoices" to cover her fraudulent money transfers.

The mother used the cash for luxury expenditure including flights to America.

Prosecutor Deborah Carroll said: "There was spending at the Metropolitan Bar in Glasgow for a wedding reception in the name of Weir.

"Funds were also paid to Catherine's of Partick which is a store that specialises in bridal wear."

The former boss also abused the company taxi account to the tune of £4,053 for non-work related travel.

Weir, of Baillieston, Glasgow, was only caught after she left the company in 2011.

Miss Carroll added: "Irregularities were identified after she left the company.

"The investigation showed she had purchased concert tickets, flights and hotel on a trip to Boston in America, for herself, her children, her partner and his son.

"There was purchase of household items for personal use and grocery shopping at Asda.

"In March 2011 there were a number transactions at well known tourist attractions in Florida and the payment of internal USA flights when the accused was on holiday in Orlando."

'Myriad of difficulties'

An audit found that on one occasion Weir forged the signature of the company's managing director in order to make a payment.

Weir, who moved to Germany to work, was arrested on an international warrant in April this year.

None of the money has been recovered.

Her lawyer Matthew Berlow said: "She has a myriad of difficulties.

"She has a possible brain tumour which has affected her mobility and there is an MRI scan planned in the middle of August."

A confiscation hearing has been set for August and Weir will be sentenced in September.

Sheriff Joanna Johnston said: "You have pleaded guilty to a long complex fraud.

"I will consider all sentencing options."

Weir, appeared in the dock in a wheelchair, was granted bail.

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