Rowl­ing sues PA over ‘theft’

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - WORLD -

HARRY Pot­ter au­thor JK Rowl­ing is su­ing her for­mer per­sonal as­sis­tant for £24,000 ($43,000) for al­legedly steal­ing mem­o­ra­bilia and us­ing a com­pany credit card on a spend­ing spree.

Rowl­ing (pic­tured) claims Amanda Donaldson took Harry Pot­ter mer­chan­dise and spent thou­sands be­hind her back, in­clud­ing £1600 on Star­bucks cof­fee.

Donaldson, 35, be­gan work­ing for Rowl­ing in Fe­bru­ary 2014 but was sacked last April after Rowl­ing’s hus­band un­cov­ered the al­leged fraud when the PA stole money in­tended for a Christ­mas party.

Le­gal pa­pers filed by Rowl­ing, who has a £650 mil­lion for­tune, claim Donaldson wrongly ben­e­fited to a value of £23,696.32 by us­ing a busi­ness credit card to buy high-end cos­met­ics, food and even two lux­ury cats.

Donaldson, who had re­spon­si­bil­ity for com­pany funds, is al­leged to have “fraud­u­lently” marked en­tries on ac­counts as ei­ther for busi­ness or per­sonal use by her boss. The fi­nan­cial in­ac­cu­ra­cies were picked up by ac­coun­tants last Fe­bru­ary.

The for­mer PA, who con­trolled mem­o­ra­bilia re­quests from fans, is also ac­cused of us­ing her po­si­tion to help her­self to col­lec­tors’ items, in­clud­ing a Harry Pot­ter Wiz­ard Col­lec­tion worth £2231.76.

Rowl­ing says the toys were taken with­out her “knowl­edge or con­sent”. The au­thor also claimed Donaldson took £7742 in cash from a safe.

The al­leged fraud be­gan to un­ravel when Rowl­ing’s hus­band Neil Mur­ray, 47, con­tacted a restau­rant in Ed­in­burgh to check that Donaldson had or­gan­ised and paid £400 for a 2016 Christ­mas party.

But court doc­u­ments state that the event at Cas­tle Ter­race Restau­rant was never ar­ranged de­spite Donaldson al­legedly tak­ing the de­posit from Rowl­ing’s busi­ness ac­count.

Donaldson de­nied the claims and said the pur­chases were busi­ness-re­lated. She said Rowl­ing had “not suf­fered any loss and is not en­ti­tled to dam­ages” from her

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