A worker who took almost £75,000 from Carillion has been jailed for 12 months after it was revealed she spent some of the cash on a sports car and a holiday caravan.
Clair Marie Smith, 33, was employed as a temporary worker at the construction firm in Wolverhampton.
Miss Joanne Barker, prosecuting, told Wolverhampton Crown Court that the mother of one from Willenhall had abused her position by setting up a false account to withdraw the money.
She said Smith, of Grazewood Close, Coppice Farm, was given a role within the firm’s purchasing card team and was responsible for ordering cheque books and debit cards for the staff.
Miss Barker said that over a four-month period between March and July 2010 the defendant defrauded the company of £74,402.62 using a card and cheque book.
“One such book was set up in the false name of Helen Slade using false details given by the defendant. No-one of that name ever worked for that company,” she said. Miss Barker said 16 cheques were used and 29 card purchases were made.
Transactions included purchases at department stores and DIY stores in the Wolverhampton area. She said the items included £11,775 on a sports car which Smith later swapped for an
Audi X4 and a caravan worth more than £4,000. Both vehicles were seized after her arrest.
Mr Gurdeep Garcha, defending, said Smith had learned a ‘salutary and painful lesson’ and asked Judge John Warner to show her mercy.
He said: “Over a four-month period the money was used to buy some luxury items, but not exclusively, and there was an attempt to try to mislead the employer. What she did was a lapse of judgment, and aberration. I would ask you to spare her.”
She was sentenced yesterday after previously admitting an offence of abuse of trust as an employee. He said she had a 10-month-old daughter and had since been suffering from depression.
Judge Warner sentenced Smith to 12 months in prison. She must serve half the sentence before being released on licence.
“When you found it was relatively easy to take the money you became a bit greedy and took some more to purchase items instead of paying off some of your debts,” Judge Warner told her.