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Tower Hamlets woman jailed for £15,000 fraud on employer

PUBLISHED: 18:10 20 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:02 27 February 2015

Michelle Yates jailed after spending more than £15,000 in unauthorised purchases

Michelle Yates jailed after spending more than £15,000 in unauthorised purchases

Archant

A former personal assistant from Tower Hamlets has been jailed for spending more than £15,000 using company credit cards on goods including designer handbags and champagne.

Michelle Yates, 34, of Blackwall way, worked as a personal assistant for Abellio Greater Anglia in Stratford since 2013.

She was jailed for 16 months on February 13 after pleading guilty to fraud totalling to £15,101,90 following investigations by Abellio Greater Anglia and British Transport Police.

Managers became suspicious of Yates when she failed to provide receipts for transactions, despite being asked for them a number of times.

Yates, lied on her CV by not mentioning an earlier conviction for fraud by abuse of position, and held the job for twelve months before being dismissed in November 2014.

An earlier hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard Yates had authority to use four company credit cards.

She was also responsible for compiling monthly spreadsheets to justify items bought using the cards, and had the cards’ details.

She bought designer handbags, trainers, champagne, clothing and also paid for the electricity supply at her home address.

Yates was arrested in November 2014, when a number of items she had bought with the cards were seized.

She was charged with fraud by false representation and fraud by abuse of position.

Detective Inspector Chris Neeson said: “Yates used her position at AGA for personal gain. This was fraud on a massive scale, and Yates abused the trust she was given to finance her lifestyle.

“It was only when AGA became aware something wasn’t right in the company accounts that the size of Yates’ deception became apparent.”

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