Crumpsall school finance officer jailed for theft and fraud

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A 44-year-old finance officer has been sentenced for stealing over £27,000 from Abraham Moss Community School in Crumpsall, where she had worked for 23 years.

Yvonne Crook was responsible for banking cash for primary school dinners, school trips, holiday and football clubs and school uniforms. She failed to bank this cash as well as approximately £1,400 which the school had collected during charity fundraising events.

The offences came to light during a routine audit at the end of the school year in 2016. £8,000 was missing from the school dinner account. Following a full audit it was discovered that £27,672.50 had been stolen over four school years between January 2012 and September 2016.

When the police attended Yvonne Crook's home they found a number of business cheque books which were no longer used by the companies to which they related.

Kim Irving for the CPS said: "Yvonne Crook had a high level of responsibility at the school and she abused that position of trust by stealing parents' hard earned money which had been paid to the school for the pupils' wellbeing. She even went a step further by stealing money intended for charities supporting vulnerable people all over the world.

"Initially she denied any involvement in the thefts, but we worked closely with the police and the local authority auditor to build a strong case against her. This included scrutinising her bank accounts which revealed numerous cash deposits, along with several payments to an online gambling site. When faced with the overwhelming evidence against her, she was left with no other option than to enter guilty pleas."

Notes to editors

  • Kim Irving is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West
  • Yvonne Crook pleaded guilty to:
    • Possession of articles for use in fraud (cheque books) between the 1st day of January 2016 and the 10th day of November 2016
    • Theft (of cash intended for school dinners and clubs etc) between the 1st day of January 2013 and the 30th day of September 2016
    • Theft (of cash intended for charities) between the 1st day of December 2012 and the 10th day of September 2016
  • Details of sentence:
    • Yvonne Crook was sentenced to two years and four months' imprisonment.

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