Sub-post­mistress fid­dled lot­tery fig­ures in fraud

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

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.

Lot­tery sales

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.

Cru­cial

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.

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