Ex-employee ordered to pay back money she stole


A woman has today been ordered to payback nearly £14,000 after she pleaded guilty to stealing from her employers.

Rian Wilkinson, aged 43, was employed by Shropshire County Council and then later by their sister company IP&E as their project marketing manager. Part of her responsibilities was managing the budget.

Between 1 June 2014 and 31 August 2015, the defendant defrauded her employers of £14,800 by submitting false invoices.

The fraud was discovered when internal auditors identified transactions for which there was no internal paper trail. They identified 13 occasions where Rian Wilkinson had withdrawn cash to pay for work that had not been ordered or carried out, and had submitted a falsified invoice to conceal her actions.

A police investigation was launched and the defendant later pleaded guilty to fraud. She was sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, 150 hours unpaid work and £200 costs. Wilkinson was also ordered to pay £13,950 compensation to her employers, which will be deducted from her pension fund.

Douglas Marshall, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Rian Wilkinson used her position of trust and responsibility to defraud her employers, and ultimately the taxpayer, of £14,800 by submitting false invoices.

"When her fraud was uncovered, she maintained that the work had been carried out and properly paid for, despite the suppliers providing evidence that they hadn't.

"The CPS will now take steps to recover the amount stolen."