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JAILED: Accountant David Singer with drug and gambling addic

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-04-06

AN accountant with a cocaine and gambling addiction stole more than £42,000 from an Ilkley travel firm.

Bradford Crown Court heard David Singer, 47, of Windsor Avenue, Skipton, had previous convictions for similar offences – once in 1995 and another time in 1998.

He appeared before the crown court today to be sentenced, after pleading guilty at magistrates' court last month. He was jailed for two years.

Singer’s betrayal unfolded between June and December last year and came to light when his employer, the family-run Simply Groups Limited, discovered what he had been doing.

Prosecutor Carmel Pearson told the court the company was a lucrative one, enjoying a turnover of £1m in some years.

Singer earned a salary of £24,000 in his role and had access to bank accounts, bank cards, was given codes and was responsible for the payment of invoices and the day to day management of finances.

Managing director Shauna Potts became suspicious when she went in to Singer’s office and noticed how untidy it was and how many invoices there were.

Other members of staff expressed concern about him not working when he should have been.

Ms Potts challenged him about his behaviour, but Singer was able to reassure her and told her he would sort things.

But she did not relax and after contacting Barclays, discovered 71 unauthorised bank transfers – totalling nearly £42,500 – had been made from the company’s account in to his.

The company was also overdrawn. Ms Potts decided she would not immediately challenge him, although she did want to take back the bank cards. However, she did not tell him the reason why.

After contacting her bank and other family members, she asked him to come back in and put it to him what happened.

Ms Pearson said Singer said he had a cocaine and gambling addiction, but there was no effort to apologise for what he had done.

The police were called and the court heard Singer was “frank” about the betrayal – he was addicted to cocaine and gambling, his life had spiralled out of control and the only way out was to start making bank transfers.

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The court heard a victim impact statement from Ms Potts, detailing the affect on her and her family, and the business, with staff having to be laid off following Singer’s deception.

Abigail Langford, for Singer, said he had “genuine remorse” and the situation had spiralled out of control.

She said he has mental health issues and the catalyst for his offending was his issues with drugs.

The court also heard he is in £22,000 worth of debt.

The judge, Recorder Ray Singh said Ms Potts, who had to work away from the area, brought Singer in to manage financial affairs but he had almost lost the company.

He said: “It was not a case of you voluntarily stopping – it came to a head because you were discovered.”

Recorder Singh added there was no attempt at an apology or of repayment and had caused stress, illness and anxiety.

“This was pure greed,” he said. “There is no other reason or rational explanation.”

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