Angela Boote, 52, ‘lied repeatedly’ as she attempted to cover up her fraudulent activities and avoid being brought to justice after stealing over £250,000 from a Liverpool insurance brokers
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A crafty mum swindled a quarter of a million pounds from her long-term employers to fund a lavish lifestyle of expensive holidays, clothes and jewellery.
Angela Boote, 52, ‘lied repeatedly’ as she desperately tried to cover up her crimes and avoid being brought to justice.
But the net closed on the brazen criminal, who was described as a trusted and well-liked employee and had worked for her company since 1994, the Liverpool Echo reports.
She has been jailed for three years and four months after stealing a total of £255,854 through her role at Liverpool insurance brokers Griffiths and Armour.
Over the course of a number of years the mum redirected cash intended for clients to bank accounts linked to herself and her family members.
Liverpool Crown Court heard earlier this week how Boote spent the cash to fund a “lavish lifestyle” of expensive holidays, clothes and jewellery.
Photos on her social media accounts, which are no longer public, show herself, her husband and their daughters in far flung destinations like Aruba in the Caribbean during the three year period she was stealing money.
Sarah Griffin, prosecuting, also detailed to the court how Boote took extensive steps to cover her tracks – and continued to try to with her colleagues when they started to uncover her deceit.
Suspicions were first raised in September 2020 when Boote was away on holiday. A client complained to the company that a £224 refund that they were due to receive had not entered their account.
Boote’s manager began to investigate the complaint, finding the bank details on the payment did not match those provided by the client. She contacted HSBC, the bank through which the transfer was conducted, to find out who the account belonged to her and copied Boote into the email.
At this point, Boote returned from leaving and contacted HSBC numerous times herself, saying the issue had been resolved. At every turn, she tried to cut her manager out of the exchange, not copying her in to the emails.
At one point, she even replied to HSBC and tried to make it look like her manager was copied in – but with her email address spelled incorrectly. Boote’s manager continued to question what had happened to the money and Boote finally admitted that she had felt into her daughter’s account of her.
Yet even then Boote continued to lie, using the explanation that she must have incorrectly entered her daughter’s details because they were written down on a piece of paper next to her and she had planned to send her money from her personal account.
At this stage, Boote’s manager reported the issue as a major error and an investigation of Boote’s accounts began.
Eventually, 96 fraudulent payments were discovered and Boote was sacked shortly after. Recorder David Knifton QC said Boote’s criminality was characterized from the start by complex attempts to cover up her dishonesty from her, with false paper trails created to hide her tracks from her.
The court heard Boote had paid back around £85,000 from inheritance received from an aunt and was being pursued for more cash through civil courts. Lionel Greig, defending, said Boote knew she had let herself and her family down and deeply regretted her actions by her.
She will serve 20 months of her sentence in prison before being eligible for release under licence.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.