A woman, who was found guilty of a number of fraud and theft charges, has recently been sentenced to 30 months behind bars. She carried out the crimes at the prestigious Pembroke College in Cambridge, which is one of the oldest colleges in the area.
The woman, Jacqueline Balaam, was a finance officer at the college and she stole close to £300,000 in order to fund her online bingo addiction.
The 41-year-old has admitted to a range of fraud and theft charges carried out not only at the historic college but also at a local social club, where she had volunteered to be treasurer. Balaam told the courts that the reason she had turned to fraud and theft was because she had become addicted to online bingo on Jackpotjoy, which she had joined back in 2006.
Duplication of invoices to commit fraud
Balaam’s position at Pembroke College meant that for a period of 18 months she was able to commit over 70 instances of fraud and theft, covering her tracks as she went along. However, when an internal audit was carried out at the college, her criminal activities were quickly discovered. In order to commit the crimes, Balaam started duplicating invoices for services and supplies that needed to be paid for.
It was revealed in court that during her time gambling on the site, Balaam had won on a number of occasions, sometimes winning five-figure sums. However, as a result of her addiction to online bingo she ended up using those winnings to continue playing at the bingo sites, eventually losing both the stolen money and any money that she had won.
During court proceedings, Balaam’s defence lawyer told the jury that at no point had his client spent the stolen money on luxuries for herself or her home. He said that the money had been purely to fund Balaam’s addiction, indicating that his client had a serious problem that she was unable to control.
Her job at Pembroke College had made it simple for Balaam to carry out her criminal activity undetected for some time, and during the eighteen month period she had taken hundreds of thousands of pounds to plough into her online gambling addiction.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46964/
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