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Gambler who robbed care homes is jailed – BBC News

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A woman has been jailed for 20 months after stealing £100,000 from a care home company to fund her online roulette addiction.

Sarah McGartland abused her position as an accounts clerk with Harvey’s Healthcare to transfer cash into her own account.

The 51-year-old banned herself from going to a bookmaker – but instead put on up to 60 bets at a time from home.

Her 11-month scam came to an end when she was caught by her boss.

McGartland was jailed at Glasgow Sheriff Court having admitted embezzling a total of £102,389 between January and November 2015.

It emerged she had previously been jailed for forgery.

Sheriff Andrew Cubie said it appeared McGartland was in the “grip” of an apparently uncontrollable addiction.

He said the crime was “systematic on a very significant scale”.

‘Free-for-all’

The sheriff went on: “I do think it is telling that you thought you had only taken half the amount you took.

“It was a free-for-all until it was uncovered.”

McGartland had worked for the company at its office based in the city’s Ibrox area.

The firm looked after about 40 elderly residents, mainly on behalf of Dumfries and Galloway Council.

The court heard McGartland’s duties involved filling out invoices to ensure any outstanding payments were made.

In November 2015, owner Vijay Kumar became suspicious while carrying out an audit check.

He found the bank details on a payment request from HMRC had been “altered”.

Prosecutor Pat Callendar said: “They, in fact, matched the details of the account where McGartland’s wages were paid into.”

Loss of jobs

It then emerged that payments to four other accounts had been made.

The court was told they were McGartland’s.

Mr Kumar realised he had authorised payments without verifying the account and sort code information.

McGartland was confronted and confessed to taking the cash.

McGartland, also of Ibrox, said she had tried to carry out the crime while trying not to “arouse suspicion”.

Ms Callendar told the court McGartland’s scam had affected the firm.

Resident numbers had to drop with “four or five staff losing their jobs”.

Sheriff Cubie said he had reduced the jail term from 30 months due to the guilty plea.

McGartland faces a further hearing later this year under Proceeds of Crime laws.

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