Financial director exploits own company to feed online gambling addiction
Lauren Farr, senior executive at Cwmbran company We Fight Any Claim for over three years, defrauded the firm to feed her gambling addiction.
The mother-of-two swindled over £800,000 to feed her online gambling addiction over the course of three years. Cardiff Crown Court found out that the Financial Director gambled approximately £1.5 million through online betting providers such as Betfred and Paddy Power.
Farr apparently found a way to hide the withdrawals from the company account into her personal account, which was done via false invoices. She knew how to do this thanks to her experience as an accountant. After her bosses pointed out heavily suspicious activity across their payments and confronted Farr, she finally admitted “It was me”.
The prosecuting officer, Alexander Greenwood, said: “She claimed she had taken the money because she was an alcoholic and had a crazy gambling problem.”
She confirmed she would forge and falsify invoices from company suppliers. She would transfer the invoiced amounts from the company bank account into her own bank account.
Ieuan Bennett, defending, said: “The defendant became addicted to gambling and there must have been some deep-rooted unhappiness in her life [that] had some sort of therapeutic impact upon her. She was, for many months, gambling quite considerable sums, relatively secretly at home.”
Moreover, it was uncovered that Farr had purchased a BMW X5 car and paid for her family vacations with the money. The Court later found her guilty and she was sentenced to 32 months in jail. Judge Neil Bidder described it as a “sophisticated and well concealed fraud”.