Grantham

Sales assistant sentenced after defrauding Carphone Warehouse out of almost £15k

A sales assistant used a scam to defraud her employers out of almost £15,000 worth of stock, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Emma Beddow-McDowell, who worked for Carphone Warehouse at their store in Grantham, paid out bogus refunds to herself using a system which allowed her to receive the money without the transaction being recorded by the company.

Gurdial Singh, prosecuting, told the court: “She was able to discover that when refunding legitimately a trade-in on her father’s phone that it wouldn’t record on the system.”

Beddow-McDowell then began to make refunds to herself in a way that showed up on the company records that the stock had been deleted.

Mr Singh said: “It was only because of the sheer number of refunds that the matters came to light.

“On one occasion £1,450 was refunded in a single day. It escalated and in March £5,000 was taken and a further £9,000 was taken in April.”

Beddow-McDowell, who had worked for the company for three years as a sales assistant confessed to what she had been doing when she was spoken to by management and she was sacked.

She said she had used the money to pay off credit card debts.

Beddow-McDowell, 30, formerly of Manor Drive, Great Gonerby, Grantham, but now living in Cyprus, admitted theft.

She was given a six month jail sentence suspended for two years.

Judge Simon Hirst ordered that her assets of £14,368 are to be confiscated and paid to Carphone Warehouse as compensation.

Leanne Summers, in mitigation, said Beddow-McDowell had no previous convictions and admitted what she had done.

“She got into debt. She was living beyond her means.”

“It was an unsophisticated fraud in that most of the refunds were paid into her own bank accounts.”

She said Beddow-McDowell was making arrangements for her mother to pay over the money she stole from the company.