A bank worker who embezzled almost £220,000 of customers’ cash has been jailed for three years.
Julie Fraser stole the money while working as a relationship manager at the Bank of Scotland in Kirkcaldy after taking on a large amount of debt following the break-up of her marriage, Cupar Sheriff Court has heard.
But she was rumbled when the bank’s monitoring system picked up a number of transfers between accounts and she came clean when she was quizzed by fraud investigators.
Fraser (52), of 7 George Govan Road, Cupar, had previously admitted embezzling £218,349.93 between May 1, 2007, and October 31, 2012, while working at Halifax Bank of Scotland in Carberry Road.
Depute fiscal Dev Kapadia had told the court that when the first transfer was detected, Fraser told investigators that the couple involved ‘were not good with finances and were unlikely to notice that money was missing.’
Further checks revealed that a total of 26 fraudulent transfers were made and Fraser admitted that she had destroyed the paperwork when she attended monthly meetings at the Perth branch.
Solicitor David Bell told the court that Fraser, a mother of two, had worked for the bank since the age of 16 and had built up a significant pension, which had been used to repay the money she’d taken.
Her 23-year marriage had broken down in 2005 and she was hit hard financially.
“She took on quite a large amount of debt that had been accrued during the marriage,” said Mr Bell.
“The first withdrawals may have been made with the intention of returning the money but that never happened and the situation spiralled.
“She has had a significant amount of public shame and she’s lost the friendship of colleagues. This is her first offence and she has shown remorse.”
Passing sentence, Sheriff Charles Macnair told Fraser: “You were in a position of trust.
“People put their money in banks in the hope and expectation that their money will be safe from embezzlement by members of staff and the vast majority of your colleagues live up to that expectation.
“You have failed to live up to that expectation in a significant way.”