A former charity chief who pleaded guilty to embezzlement and then, while on bail, went on to defraud a digital marketing agency, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years at the Sheriff Court in Edinburgh for stealing a total of £136,246.
The court heard how Lesley Dickinson exploited of her role at the Scottish Wildlife Trust to duplicate invoices and deposit payments into her own accounts, taking a total of £35,746 between September 2015 and March 2016.
Police were contacted after staff identified suspicious payments and a formal investigation was launched. She was subsequently arrested and charged on April 26 2016 and pleaded guilty to embezzlement.
However, while on bail, Dickinson began working for Tandem Digital Marketing and continued to process fraudulent payments to her own accounts, this time taking £100,500 between December 2016 and October 2017.
Police were contacted after the discrepancies were uncovered and, following a second investigation, Dickinson was arrested again.
However, the damage was already done to Tandem Digital, which went into liquidation last month.
Detective Inspector Gordon Burns of the Economic Crime & Financial Investigation Unit in Edinburgh said: “Dickinson repeatedly abused her position with two different employers over a two year period, stealing substantial sums of money.
“Thanks to the cooperation of both the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Tandem Digital Marketing, we were able to conduct a thorough investigation that quickly identified Dickinson as the suspect and she will now serve a custodial sentence for her crimes.
“Whenever these offences are reported to us we will utilise all resources at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice and the sentence imposed should serve as a reminder to those employed in a position of trust.”
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