Manager salted away £50,000 in ‘wages’

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A FORMER Brighouse woman could be jailed after she admitted swindling the catering company where she used to work.

Caroline Ashford, 48, abused her trusted position as operations manager at Shaw and Lisle, Huddersfield, to alter payroll records and obtain nearly £50,000 in “wages”.

Ashford who is now understood to live in Leeds, admitted nine fraud allegations and one charge of false accounting when she appeared at Bradford Crown Court.

Eight of the fraud charges relate to false representations that employees of the firm were still entitled to wage payments.

Ashford also pleaded guilty to abusing her position as operations manager between April 2009 and November 2010.

The charge of false accounting states that in between the same dates Ashford falsified payroll account records to show that £49,085.71 was paid to employees in respect of wages owed.

Judge Peter Benson told Ashford: “You’ve pleaded guilty now to a number of offences and you must expect the court to be considering custody.”

Ashford’s lawyer, Mark Brookes, confirmed that she was a woman of previous good character and he requested a pre-sentence report.

Judge Benson agreed and granted Ashford bail until her sentence hearing which will take place on May 11.

He also fixed a timetable under the Proceeds of Crime Act which could result in a confiscation order being made against the defendant at a later date.