Woman jailed for million pound fraud
August 17, 2015, 9:45 am
A payroll officer has been jailed to more than five yearsâ€™ for a million pound fraud.
Pauline Elfreda Barrett, 55 (31.10.59) of Haywain Close, Ashford, Kent, has been sentenced to five years and eight monthsâ€™ imprisonment for stealing more than Â£1 million from an oil and gas company, while working as its payroll officer.
She was charged with 10 counts of fraud by false representation and one count of theft. These were subsequently merged into one count of fraud by abuse of position, to which she pleaded guilty on 20 February.
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She was sentenced on Friday, 14 August.
Barrett had edited emails from Saipem Limitedâ€™s accountants so that it appeared that they were receiving demands for payment from Her Majestyâ€™s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The payments were approved but the beneficiary account details were in fact Barrettâ€™s.
Between November 2010 and September 2014 at least 28 payments totalling Â£1.3 million were made to Barrettâ€™s personal bank account.
Detective Sergeant Mick Walker, of the Metâ€™s fraud and cyber crime team, FALCON, said: â€œBennett stole a huge amount of money from her employer.
â€œFor four years Barrett abused her position of trust within the company, her theft was calculated. At first she made demands for small sums of money as she wanted to test the water. However as her confidence grew, so did her demands. The largest payment she fabricated was for around Â£80,000.â€
Anyone with information about fraud should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or call independent charity anonymously Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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Source: Metropolitan Police Service