Mary Booth stole huge sum while employed as payroll manager
A payroll manager who embezzled nearly £360,000 from the British Red Cross has been jailed for more than two years.
Mary Booth pretended to make payments to international delegates and charity employees at the organisation where she had worked for 34 years.
Instead she was transferring the money into her own bank accounts.
She told Paisley Sheriff Court she scammed the charity to fund her online gambling habit after splitting from her husband.
The court heard that the embezzlement was uncovered when an audit of payroll systems was carried out in March 2016.
Booth earned £45,000-per-year but retired in 2015 after working at the charity’s Scottish headquarters in Paisley, Renfrewshire as well as at the head office in London.
Seemingly trustworthy, the 56-year-old siphoned £359,551.27 from the charity’s accounts, which she paid in to her own bank.
Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “We were devastated to discover that a long-serving employee in a position of trust had defrauded us.
"Every day we strive to help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and overseas and for our trust to be abused in this way is really, really disappointing.
We were devastated to discover that a long-serving employee in a position of trust had defrauded us - Mike Adamson
“As soon as we identified there was fraudulent activity we alerted the police and the Charity Commission and undertook an independent forensic financial audit.
“This member of staff was trusted to handle our money and that has given us cause to think long and hard about how we tighten up our procedures.
"We have put robust measures in place to prevent this from ever happening again.
“We have taken several important steps to review and further strengthen our financial controls and procedures to prevent this from ever happening again.
“This includes limiting access to key parts of our financial systems, reducing the ways that payments can be made and tightening controls so that payments can only be generated centrally by a smaller number of people."
Booth will now have to sell her £350,000 home to pay back the money.