Gambling Grandma Steals £272,000 From Travel Agency

A grandmother addicted to gambling admitted in a Newcastle crown court yesterday, to stealing £272,000 from her employer in order to fund a gambling habit.
Kathleen Clark, 60, worked as an employee at Thomson Travel where she would pay thousands of pounds into her own account disguised as compensation payouts for dissatisfied customers. She would then proceed to steal and gamble away her ill-gotten gains.
However, her stealing didn’t stop after leaving the company in 2009 as, unbeknownst to her employer, she held onto her key fob and would then return to the office late at night, where she would continue her pilfering.
In total, Clark paid herself £272,539 over a 14 month period before the branch in Newcastle city centre was shut in October 2010. The company then carried out an audit which subsequently revealed a discrepancy in their accounting leading to Clark eventually being arrested.
The grandmother who described the deception as “too easy,” has since gone on to express regret for her actions and said:
“I regret the pressure it has put on my family. I’m so sorry for what I have done.
I did it because I gamble. I’m now being treated for gambling addiction. I feel so ashamed.”
Incredibly, Kathleen Clark from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland, was not the only one helping herself to money from the Thomson Travel office as two of her colleagues at the call centre in Newcastle also committed the same crime for more than £100,000 before being caught.
Dispelling any suggestions that they were all working in cahoots, Kathleen Clark commented:
“Me and the others weren’t working as a team. It’s just a coincidence that we all did the same thing. It would appear that it was just too easy to do and we all gave in to temptation. Other than that I don’t wish to say anything else other than to express my regret once more.”
Sentencing is yet yet to be passed on the dishonest trio.

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