A crooked book-keeper at a leading real estate firm who plundered £2m from her bosses to launch her own property empire in Zambia has been jailed for four years. Mirriam Clark, 47, blew the cash on first class flights to Africa and private school education for her children.
She bought properties in her native Zambia and used stolen funds to maintain five homes she owned across England and Wales, Southwark Crown Court heard today.
Clark was working for Dowley Turner Real Estate (DTRE) from their luxury offices on London’s Bond Street at the time of the thefts.
Prosecutor Charles Pentangeli said only £295,000 has been recovered by Clark’s former bosses so far.
‘This fraud was carried out over a three-and-a-half year period while the defendant was the book keeper for the property and real estate consultancy firm Dowley Turner Real Estate, based in London.
‘The partners at the business had both known the defendant for 15 years, she having previously worked for the previous incarnation of the firm between 1995 and 2006. ‘Not only did she work as a bookkeeper and a personal assistant to Mr Dowley and Mr Turner but she was their friend.
‘She played a key role with the business’s bank account and tax affairs’. Clark siphon £1,977,327 from the company over a three-and-a-half-year period, the court heard.
She confessed to the thefts, which began in late 2009, just days after she was sacked for work related reasons in March last year.
Clark said she stole the cash to pay off credit card debt and claimed she had been struggling financially since her divorce. But it emerged she had spent £50,000 of her employers’ money on 14 return flights to Zambia and paid a £25,000 gift to an ex-employee of the firm.
Even after all Clark’s properties are sold, Dowley Turner may be short of £700,000 as a result of her fraud.
SOURCE: UK MAIL
POSTED BY NATHALIE ZEMGBO