Ex-navy sailor faces jail for defrauding veterans' association
A former sailor is facing jail after admitting defrauding a veterans' charity out of nearly Â£50,000 to feed his gambling addiction.
Andrew Gallie, who served in the Royal Navy between 1998 and 2011, began working for the Not Forgotten Association in November last year.
The 38-year-old made a total of 57 payments to himself when he should have been paying invoices, while employed as the charity’s office co-ordinator, a court heard.
Gallie, from Gillingham in Kent, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday wearing a dark grey suit, white shirt and dark blue tie.
He pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud by abuse of position between January 25 and June 19, to a total amount of £47,600.
Magistrates declined jurisdiction to sentence Gallie, telling him the case will be dealt with at Southwark Crown Court at a date to be set.
Chairman of the bench Kenneth Toft told him: ‘This starts with a very serious custodial sentence and it is one this bench cannot impose.’
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for serving, wounded or sick servicemen and women and veterans with disabilities.
It has enjoyed Royal Patronage since 1921, with the duties currently carried out by the Princess Royal.
The charity was welcomed to Buckingham Palace in May as Prince Harry hosted his first garden party, joining hundreds of veterans on the lawns.
‘Mr Gallie was employed by the Not Forgotten Association, a charity helping wounded service personnel,’ prosecutor Henry Fitch said.
He told magistrates Gallie carried out finance and administration work for the charity’s events department.
‘In June of this year it transpired... that an invoice that Mr Gallie was supposed to have arranged payment for had not been paid,’ continued Mr Fitch.
He said when Gallie was confronted he confessed to the scam in an email to bosses.
‘He admitted defrauding the organisation by making payments to himself when he ought to have been paying for invoices, to fuel his gambling addiction,’ he added.
The court heard Gallie was handed a two-year conditional discharge in October last year after pleading guilty to a similar offence in which he defrauded a care home where he worked out of around £738.
On Tuesday, he also pleaded guilty to breaching the order and will be sentenced for the offence along with the fraud.
Jennifer Siddorn, defending, said Gallie came out of the navy to spend time with his wife and three children, but the marriage broke down because of his gambling problem.
She said he is now married to another woman and is due to start work as a handyman next week.
The solicitor said Gallie started at the charity as a fundraiser, but began taking money when he was trusted with the petty cash.
‘It then rolled and rolled and rolled,’ she added.