Miracle mum jailed after £150k child support scam

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court. Pic George McLuskie
Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court. Pic George McLuskie

A ‘miracle’ mum has been jailed after admitting embezzling £150,000 from the government agency where she worked.

Audrey Foy worked for the Child Support Agency at their Kirkcaldy office but in the space of 21 months she simply transferred vast sums of taxpayers’ cash to her own bank account in a “systematic” fraud.

A court heard she had simply “squandered” the money and “frittered it away on her son” - with the only tangible purchases being two holidays and a car during the scam.

Foy told in 2009 how she had given up trying for a baby after the heartache of three miscarriages only to fall pregnant after shelving a planned hysterectomy because her father had died.

But today (Tuesday) Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court heard the single mum now faces being separated from her child as she serves a prison term.

Foy wept in the dock as a sheriff told her: “It is with regret, but with necessity, that I impose a sentence of 21 months.”

Foy (50) of Turner Crescent, Methil, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of embezzlement committed between June 6, 2014 and March 18, 2016.

Defence solicitor Peter Mullen said Foy had told her son she would not be returning home last night.

He added: “Given the sum involved I have been clear to state to her that the court will be intending to impose the obvious sentence in this case.

“She has made arrangements for that and prepared herself logistically, if not mentally.

“She has advised her son she won’t be coming home tonight.

“She was always going to be caught - it was always going to lead back to her.

“The bank account the money was being transferred to was her own account.

“She has advised she can’t explain where the money went.

“It is inexplicable. She was spending it on her son and it appears to have been frittered away on relatively minor things.”

Sheriff Grant McCulloch jailed Foy for 21 months - reduced from 30 for her early guilty plea.

He said: “You embarked on a 21 month period in which you carried out a systematic fraud on the CSA.

“£150,000 has been taken and used for whatever purpose we know not.

“You were not only in a position of trust at work but for your son.

“You have shown little remorse for what you have done and have come up with no significant explanation.

“It is correct that for a fraud of this size a custodial sentence be imposed.

“It is with regret, but with necessity, that I impose a sentence of 21 months.”

In 2009 Foy told how she had given up trying for a baby after suffering the heartache of three miscarriages.

But in November 2003 she unexpectedly fell pregnant again at the age of 36.

A DWP spokesman said: “We take fraud extremely seriously, and we fully supported this prosecution.

“Foy has been dismissed and no longer works for the Department. We have taken measures to ensure that this cannot happen again.”