Woman Embezzles £76,000 To Fund Internet Bingo Habit

Another woman has been sentenced to jail for embezzling £76,000 (116,466.54 USD) pounds to fund her bingo habit. Although criminality is rare among bingo players there were several cases last year of bingo addicts stealing from employers, friends and neighbors. Last May Jennie Preston pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft from residents at the home for the elderly where she worked. Preston stole £90,000 ($137,920.91 USD) pounds to fund her bingo habit. The theft cases involved both land based and internet bingo players. British judges take theft cases very seriously and Preston was sentenced to 40 months in prison. Preston had fleeced many residents of their life savings which resulted in the severe sentence. In November Dawn Kyle was sentenced to 15 months after stealing £42,000 ($64,354.54 USD) to fund her online bingo addiction.

A mother who embezzled over £76,000 from her employer has been sentenced to prison for 16 months.  The court heard testimony that Lucienne Mainey became addicted to internet bingo after her marriage collapsed. Mainey was a trusted employee and began stealing money as her addiction progressed. Mainey was employed as an accounts administrator at APD Ltd. a company that manufactures electrical control panels. She had known the family that owned the company for two decades.

In January 2011 it was discovered that Mainey had paid £800 ($1,225.91 USD) into her account. Mainey apologized and repaid the money and promised it would not happen again. The company accepted the apology and allowed Mainey to stay. Just eight weeks later Mainey was caught playing online bingo during work hours and was given a warning. In October 2011 Mainey was questioned about a £3,000 ($4,597.73 USD) to one of the company’s suppliers and admitted she had spent the money herself. A review of the company’s accounts revealed that Mainey had stolen £76,000. The company said that the actual loss was about £87,000 because it had to pay VAT taxes it had claimed.

Mainey admitted to five offenses of fraud through deception and a total of 25 offenses were taken into consideration by the court. When Judge Peter Fenn sentenced Mainey to 16 months he stated ‘The message must go out loud and clear from this court to those who might succumb to temptation to steal from those whose money they are in a position of managing.’ Fenn said she had committed an egregious breach of trust. Defense counsel Ian James said that Mainey was aware that she had betrayed the trust place in her by her employer. James stated ‘She has repeatedly expressed her remorse which does genuinely extend beyond her own predicament and extends to the harm she had caused to her employers and their business.’ James said that she had turned to online bingo after her marriage collapsed because of her husband’s affair with a friend. James said Mainey turned to online bingo and that ‘It proved to be an extremely expensive pastime.’