Pregnant South Yorkshire fraudster jailed after duping employer out of tens of thousands of pounds

Sheffield Crown Court heard on January 19 how Zoe Guest, aged 35, of West Park Drive, Swallownest, Rotherham, was working as a finance manager for True Life Ltd when she transferred tens of thousands of pounds from the company into her own account.

Richard Davies, prosecuting, said: “The fraudulent activity took place between August 28, 2016, and September 14, 2018, when the defendant transferred funds from True Life Ltd into a joint bank bank account in her name and the defendant’s partner’s name.”

Mr Davies added the general manager spotted a number of unexplained payments with invoices in the name of Bespoke Sales and she discovered they had been made into the defendant’s joint bank account.

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Zoe Guest was jailed for duping her employer out of tens of thousands of pounds

Guest had been logging into accounts and creating fake Bespoke Sales invoices, according to Mr Davies, and she had been funneling the money into her account and she had used the login details of an ex-employee as well as her own.

Mr Davies said the total amount involved in the fraud was calculated at £81,800.58p but defence barrister Natalie Csengeri said an analysis of the exact amount had not yet been completed.

Guest, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to committing fraud between August 28, 2016, and September 14, 2018.

Ms Csengeri, defending, said Guest had told the probation service she had accrued a £35,000 credit card debt and she had been under pressure at work and this had led to her poor judgement.

Judge Peter Kelson QC told Guest: “A particularly difficult issue is that you are pregnant – nine weeks’ pregnant – and as I have discussed with your barrister it’s always a matter of extreme importance to any sentencing judge and I do have it in mind.

“I have discussed with your barrister whether the fact you have become pregnant at a time when you are facing a very serious case and facing a very serious sentence has any relevance and she has informed me this was an unexpected pregnancy.”

However, Judge Kelson sentenced Guest to 18 months of custody and told her the fraud was so serious that appropriate punishment could only be achieved by custody because such offending must be deterred.

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