Finance director Beverley Marson took nearly £100,000 from Scarborough engineering firm through fraud

Sweetening Engineers

Beverley Marson, 54, embezzled money from accounts at Sweeting Engineers in Scarborough and spent the money on gambling and clothing, York Crown Court heard.

Between January 2014 and December 2018, Marson searched company accounts and splurged while gambling and shopping at Next and Bonmarche, prosecutor Rob Galley said.

Marson, who had been with the company for about 19 years and served as the company’s well-paid CFO for about six years, managed to hide her crimes for five years and, in early 2018, was even approached by the one of the administrators to get involved in the financing of a possible takeover of the company because one of the owners was approaching retirement age.

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She turned down the offer, whereupon the manager who had made the offer proceeded to try to secure a bank loan for the takeover, only to be warned by NatWest that there had been a series of dealings. suspicious charges on the company’s account resulting in a loss of £98,270.

Over the five-year period, Marson spent around £70,000 on his gambling habits and the rest, just over £28,000, on clothes.

Company bosses called her in for a meeting in November last year and Marson immediately admitted her deception. She immediately resigned from her position.

She was arrested and charged with one count of fraud which she admitted. She appeared for sentencing on Monday, extremely tearful and contrite.

Mr Galley said Marson had already repaid most of the money and returned his £30,000 worth of shares to the company. However, she still owed around £33,000, which she had pledged to repay.

He said his blatant betrayal had affected the company’s profits and accounting departments.

Marson’s defense lawyer – who rose through the ranks from office worker and company secretary to a position where she held the purse strings – said she had “lost everything: her family, her work and home” because of his actions.

“And (she lost) her reputation in a small town like Scarborough, where she (became) a sort of pariah,” he added.

Marson, who has since left town to live in County Durham after separating from her husband, owned 15% of the shares in the engineering company.

But she found herself caught in a “downward spiral of addiction” after becoming addicted to gambling and “trying to get away from many issues in her life”.

She had since privately paid advice and made repayments to the company through the sale of her former marital home.

Marson had until then been “respected in the community” and had never been in court before, but gambling had been her “undoing”. She suffered from depression and anxiety and had suicidal thoughts.

The court heard that although the company suffered “substantial” financial loss as a result of Marson’s fraud, it had not been plunged into debt and there were no unpaid bills.

Judge Simon Hickey told Marson that company bosses “placed their trust entirely in you”, but she broke that trust mainly because of her gambling habit.

“You couldn’t opt ​​out (of your habit) and of course addiction sets in and you go into more and more debt,” he added.

He said, however, he could waive the inevitable prison sentence because Marson – who now lives in Bishop Auckland – had shown clear remorse, co-operated fully with the ‘small but successful’ society after his arrest, had refunded most of the money and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said he also noted that one of the company’s directors provided him with a character reference despite his betrayal.

The appointed manager said he had ‘trusted (Marson) throughout (his time with the company)’ and was ‘extremely shocked and saddened’ when he found out she stole the business.

He said he was forced to put his retirement on hold due to Marson’s theft and the bank has since placed the business under greater scrutiny, although it is still thriving.

The two-year prison sentence was suspended for 24 months and Marson was ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid work. The judge ordered him to repay the sums owed to the company before the end of August.

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