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Accountant stole €263,000 at firm

Court told that company laid off three staff as woman was embezzling funds to play online poker

AN accountant has appeared in court in Pau accused of skimming €263,000 from a printing company – which laid off three staff during the period of the fraud.

Christine C., 46, had managed to get hold of a rubber stamp with her boss’s signature and used it sign cheques made out to her SCI property company and others. She used the cash from Ipadour printing to fund her online poker addiction but also spent it on holidays, plus a veranda and swimming pool at her home.

The fraud started in 2007 when she started playing poker and, her lawyer said, things got out of control. She started by making payments to her own SCI property company but then switched payments to various dummy companies.

When his bank warned the printing company boss that his business was in financial trouble he laid off three staff and started working all hours to try to improve the situation. He even sold his flat.

The fraud was discovered after Christine C. was paid off and a new accountant examined the books – and found that she had tried to repay €17,000 of what she had taken.

Prosecutors have called for a one-year suspended jail sentence and for the accountant to be banned from online poker games – and also that she lose her house so that the building company can be repaid the stolen money. The verdict will be given in October.

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