Sub-postmistress fiddled lottery figures in fraud
A SUB-POSTMISTRESS defrauded more than £15,000 by fiddling the business accounts.
Janet Ryan under-declared income for the Appledore subpost office and over-declared outgoings, pocketing the difference.
Ryan paid all the money back but Ashford magistrates said the fraud was so serious she would still have to be sentenced by a crown court with its greater punishment powers.
Nicholas Chapman, prosecuting for the Royal Mail, said that a total of £15,517.41 had been taken over eight months either by pushing up lottery sales figures or through the cashing of cheques.
He told the court last Friday: “On a number of occasions she manipulated the accounting system by overdeclaring money paid out, underdeclaring money coming in and skimming off the difference.”
The court heard that Ryan, 48, of The Street, Appledore, started work at the post office in June 2006 and carried out the fraud between September 30, 2007 and last May 28.
Auditors came in to investigate on June 19 and she was suspended that day.
Ryan had her own separate private enterprise and explained in interview that she took the money to pay for that business’s expenses.
Mr Chapman said that following her arrest and being charged she repaid all the money.
Ryan pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraud against Post Office Ltd.
Chidi Umez, for Ryan, said that the full repayment was a crucial factor in her mitigation and argued that magistrates had sufficient powers to sentence in this case.
But the magistrates referred the case for sentencing at Maidstone Crown Court at a date to be fixed.
Ryan was granted unconditional bail.
Post Office Ltd says that Appledore Post Office has since been run by another sub-postmaster on a temporary basis.