MORE than £30,000 was taken in a fraud by an accounts worker at a firm supplying the NHS, a court heard.
Mother-of-one Charmaine Moignard was trusted to look after the books at incontinence supplies firm Vision Logistical Solutions, in Fareham, and its connected company 2sendit.
Now after admitting siphoning payments off into her account and faking statements to mask the fraud she has been given a suspended sentence.
At Portsmouth Crown Court the 40-year-old, said to be heavily in debt, was ordered to pay back £1 after taking £32,460.97 between February 1, 2016 and January 20 this year.
In a statement read at court, director Peter Toon said the total loss to the firm was £65,000, including a £25,000 bill to bring in someone to go over the books.
He said: ‘We didn’t know who had been paid and who hadn’t been paid.
‘It took us six months.
‘This led to us at times having to phone suppliers and ask what we owe them. This left us open to dishonesty.’
He added: ‘It took us a long time to find out what our company’s true situation was.’
The fraud was only uncovered when Moignard was signed off sick and bosses looked at the unaltered online accounts. Staff at the firm, which employs 33 people, were also concerned at the scale of the fraud.
Mr Toon said: ‘Staff were concerned as they did not know the extent of the fraud and whether they would lose their jobs.’
Prosecutor Matthew Lawson said: ‘In view of the significant loss and the effect on the company and impact on suppliers, and effectively the company put in a position not knowing whether it owed money or not, the crown would suggest it’s a high impact.’
Sentencing, Recorder John Williams said the firm was ‘not quite taken to the cleaners but was treated in the most appalling fashion for close on a year’.
He added: ‘You’ve lost your good character, a thousand pities that at your age you should’ve done that in what was, I think, a rather sophisticated and unpleasant fraud.’
The judge imposed a 21-month sentence suspended for two years.
In confiscation proceedings he ruled she benefited by £32,460.97 but must pay back £1 in 14 days or go to prison for 10 months as that is all she has.
Mitigating, Ashanti-Jade Walton said Moignard, now of Woodfield Street in Swansea, was £30,000 in debt at the time of the fraud due to spending during the manic period of her bipolar depression.
‘The spending caused the family to lose their home in April 2017,’ she said.
‘The only accommodation the could afford was a caravan in Wales.’
Moignard, who is seeing a psychiatric nurse, ‘felt a real sense of hopelessness’ after her adult daughter became unwell.
The court heard she has insolvency arrangements and is paying off debts at £17 a week, despite taking more than what her debt was said to be.