A bookkeeper defrauded her employer out of nearly £70,000 using fake invoices over four years. Gillian Wilde, 58, had worked for DXG Media since 2001, but began withdrawing funds from the company account and placing them into her personal account.
She concealed these payments from scrutiny by passing them off as payments to clients or the postage company used by the business. Wilde, of Stockport, went on to create false invoices to further hide the thefts. The total amount stolen between June 2016 and June 2020 was £69,133. Her offending her only came to light after her boss noticed her making derogatory comments to other staff members about him, spotted her going on expensive holidays and wearing expensive clothing.
READMORE: Moment ‘out of control’ woman forced Jet2 Manchester flight to divert – before armed police escort her away
Wilde had been one of two bookkeepers at the company, based in Dukinfield, but since 2016 she began to work alone. The manager found it ‘increasingly difficult’ to access the business accounts of her, but as he trusted Wilde, he did not question her or check her workings of her, Minshull Street Crown Court heard.
As he became more concerned, he told her he had employed an accountant and she became ‘defensive and appeared angry’, prosecutor Brian Berlyne said. “As a result of COVID19, the business closed for a while,” he said.
“He took that as an opportunity to check the account and noticed irregularities. He saw that money had been withdrawn and diverted to an account he didn’t recognise, payments were duplicated, and he later found the account which the payments had been diverted into was the personal account of Gillian Wilde.
“These were unauthorized payments made to her bank account since June 2016 and she had attempted to conceal them as clients or payments to the postage company the business used. False invoices were also made.” Wilde was arrested and admitted the offenses in her interview, adding that she began stealing from the company as she realized it was ‘quite easy to do’. Whilst she did apologize, she did make some ‘disparaging comments’ about her former boss de ella.
“I have struggled to think about anything else and as a consequence my health has suffered and I have struggled to sleep,” he said in a victim impact statement. “I have had dark thoughts about ending my life and I constantly feel nervous. The business suffered during COVID19, and she carried on during this which is deplorable.” He added that he had suffered from a heart attack in 2018 and was hospitalized for a number of weeks, during which Wilde stole the ‘majority’ of the money from the account.
Wilde was said to have no previous convictions and was said to be ‘genuinely remorseful’ and her barrister, Nicholas Clarke, said she didn’t understand ‘how she could have done it to her own family’. He said that she was ‘living beyond her means de ella’ at the time and had used various loans to support her and others.
“She imagined she would be able to pay this money back when she got herself in order,” Mr Clarke said. “Since her arrest de ella she has made significant efforts in order to address her behavior de ella, she has been putting her loans in order and is wishing to repay the money she has stolen.”
He added that his client was an ‘ideal candidate’ for a suspended sentence, but Judge Mark Savill stated this was a ‘serious betrayal of trust’. “This isn’t just a betrayal of trust of your employer but also a betrayal of trust of your friends and family. You abused your position of trust and responsibility,” he said.
Wilde, of Woodlands Drive, was jailed for 26 months after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position. A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing has been set for August 9.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.