Employee fraud puts colleagues at risk of redundancy

Employees at Careerlink Ltd in Walsall are looking at a real possibility of redundancy after a member of the payroll department, Gemma Freeman, spent £136,000 on a luxury lifestyle.

The Crown Court heard how Ms Freeman was spending £13,000 a month, and that the company is now facing tax problems, with the "looming threat" of redundancies hanging over employees. The solicitor acting for Ms Freeman said she was suffering from depression, and that she "frittered" the money away on meals out and the theatre as a "release from the pressure cooker of events around her".

Ms Freeman had admitted to the fraud by abuse of her position, and is due to be sentenced at a later date. Judge Amjad Nawaz said he couldn't understand how her difficulties resulted in the theft of money from the company, and that she her spending can "only be called luxury".