A woman who embezzled almost £80,000 in less than a year from the credit union where she was a “trusted” member of staff was jailed today (Tuesday) for 16 months.
Margaret Bond was a respected worker at Kingdom Credit Union - a non-profit group which provides financial products to the public in Fife.
Bond set up 42 loans on the firm’s systems - paying cash totalling £79,120 into her own bank account.
That entire amount remains outstanding - with Bond’s lawyer today pleading with a sheriff not to jail her so she could have time to pay it back.
But the sheriff sent her to prison for 16 months and said: “This represents a substantial breach of trust.”
Bond’s scam was spotted when a check on interest rates found one of the loans she had given herself was on a far lower interest rate than it should have been.
A comprehensive check revealed the full scale of her deception - and that none of the loans were being repaid.
Bond had even paid the money into the same bank account she had her salary from the union paid into.
Bond (48), of Keilburn, Lundin Links, had pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of embezzlement.
Her scam was carried out between August 9, 2013 and August 7, 2014 at the union’s offices in Leven and Glenrothes.
Dewar Spence, defending, said the £79,120 figure remained unpaid - but that she hoped to sell her house, unlock money from her husband’s pension and use money from friends and family to pay it back.
He said: “This was not a well created crime.
“The explanation for committing the offence is something I have great difficulty in giving any further input on.
“Every single payment goes to her bank account and all but one of the loans are in her name.
“She just found herself in a cycle she was unable to come out of.”
Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist QC jailed Bond for 16 months.
He said: “This is a very serious offence.
“It involved the embezzlement of a very substantial sum of money - a loss of more than £79,000.
“This was an offence that was perpetrated over a period of a year.
“It was a sustained course of very serious criminal conduct and in these circumstances there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”
A proceeds of crime hearing will take place in October as prosecutors attempt to seize money to repay the credit union.