Council worker spent £218k she stole from public purse on horses and a holiday – now she's been jailed
Written by The Newsroom on June 12, 2019
A council worker frittered away more than £200,000 of public funds on horses, a flat deposit and a holiday to Turkey.
Rebecca Mason, a former assistant town clerk at Rugeley Town Council, stole £218,418 in 242 separate payments between February 18, 2017 and December 10, 2018.
It had been her job to administer and monitor financial and payroll systems but she was defrauding cash from the council’s accounts into her own savings account by way of false accounting.
She then transferred the money across to her current account and spent it.
The 42-year-old was rumbled when a clerk from another parish council was appointed and raised concerns over a number of money transfers that had been taking place on a monthly basis.
(Image: Birmingham Post and Mail)
Mason, of School Walk, Chase Terrace, admitted to police she had disguised the payments made to her account, falsely attributing money she had stolen as an excessive gas and electric bill.
She said the money had been spent on keeping horses, a deposit for a flat, and a holiday in Turkey amongst other expenditure and admitted that most of it had been ‘frittered away’.
Checks revealed she had spent all of the money and now has little or no means.
Mason was jailed for four years when she appeared at Stafford Crown Court today (Wednesday, June 12), after pleading guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.
Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Nick Gorman, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a significant amount of money that was stolen from the public purse by Rebecca Mason who dishonestly abused her position for her own financial gain in this case.
“Although she pleaded guilty at the first opportunity she knows this was a betrayal of trust that continued for some time.”
Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via Birmingham Mail - Rugeley News