Woman to pay £300 af­ter de­fraud­ing firm out of £14,000

Gloucestershire Echo - - IN BRIEF - John HAWKINS gloslive­[email protected]­plc.com

ABOGUS bar­ris­ter who conned her em­ploy­ers into believ­ing she was le­gally qual­i­fied and then de­frauded them out of more than £14,000 has been or­dered to pay the firm £300 in com­pen­sa­tion be­cause that is all the money she has.

Char­lotte Elvidge, 40, of Green Drive Cot­tages, Lit­tle Bar­ring­ton, was given an 18-month prison sen­tence sus­pended for two years on Oc­to­ber 11 af­ter be­ing con­victed at Glouces­ter Crown Court on four counts of fraud.

She had got a job with C.E. Lifts of Rod­mar­ton, as con­tracts man­ager and de­frauded them of £14,128.51 be­tween November 9, 2015 and April 4, 2016.

Prosecutin­g bar­ris­ter Ja­nine Wood said: “The de­fen­dant has only got £300 in avail­able as­sets but the ben­e­fit of her crime amounts to over £14,000.

His Hon­our Judge Michael Cul­lum told Elvidge: “This Proceeds of Crime hear­ing is now con­cluded and I or­der you to pay the com­pany £300 in com­pen­sa­tion within 28 days.”

The Proceeds of Crime hear­ing can,

how­ever, be re­opened if Elvidge comes into money in the fu­ture and has more as­sets avail­able for con­fis­ca­tion.

At a pre­vi­ous hear­ing, it was stated that Elvidge started work for the firm in 2015 and the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor David Mann found it “handy” she was a bar­ris­ter be­cause it helped with her un­der­stand­ing of the con­tracts she man­aged.

In March 2016 an ac­coun­tant ap­proached the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor with con­cerns about pre-signed cheques which had been put through as pay­ments to con­trac­tors but never been re­ceived.

The ac­coun­tant asked the com­pany bank to send the cheques and it was seen Elvidge had paid them to her­self.

At a meet­ing on March 15, she ad­mit­ted her of­fences, say­ing: “I’m busted!”

Af­ter she left, another di­rec­tor, Peter Perry, found that his credit card had been used by Elvidge to make pur­chases at Home­base and B&Q.

She had also used a fuel card to ob­tain a to­tal of £250. Elvidge took her law ex­ams in 2014 but was never called to the Bar.

She ex­pressed “re­gret and re­morse” af­ter ad­mit­ting her of­fences in 2017.

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