McCarthy Stone defrauded and faced bomb hoax from employee

A WOMAN who defrauded her employer out of thousands of pounds and made bomb hoax calls to her office has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Angela Gurung worked in the financial department at retirement housing giant McCarthy Stone when she committed the offences.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard the 39-year-old’s role had led to her learning about the processes involved with company credit cards.

She went on to apply to increase the credit limits and withdraw thousands of pounds for her own gains.

After McCarthy Stone management became aware of the unusual card activity an investigation was launched and the matter was reported to police.

At this point Gurung, of Swansbury Drive, Bournemouth, went off work sick and while she was off she made bomb hoax calls to the office in the Abbey Life Building in Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth, on consecutive days.

Sentencing judge Recorder Tom Brown handed the defendant a 20-month term of imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

Recorder Brown said he was satisfied he can and should suspend the sentence, adding that he was “satisfied there is a realistic prospect of your rehabilitation” and because of her caring responsibilities for her child.

At the hearing on Friday, May 27, the judge said no evacuations of the Abbey Life building took place but staff were “understandably on edge”.

The court heard the same telephone which was used to make the bomb hoaxes was used by the offender to call McCarthy Stone as a third party and make false claims about the credit cards.

The value of the fraud totalled more than £6,000.

The offences were considered high culpability because it was an abuse of trust.

It was accepted that the offending was a consequence of debts the defendant had fallen into and her alcohol dependency.

Gurung, who had no previous convictions, had obtained employment since leaving McCarthy Stone following the offences in October and November 2018.

She previously pleaded guilty to two charges of bomb hoaxes and four charges of fraud by false representation.

Mitigating, Richard Wayman said Gurung was someone who would not come back before the courts, adding that the matters had been hanging over her for several years.

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Bournemouth Echo | News