Frauds fund accountant’s cosmetic work

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An assistant accountant working for a car dealership in Bristol has been convicted of fraud for siphoning off nearly £16,000 to pay for holidays and cosmetic surgery.

Emma Bray worked in the finance team at the Bristol Audi dealership and took advantage of her access to the firm’s sales ledger, according to the report on her trial.

Prosecutor Richard Shepherd said the accounts assistant had worked out how to take money out of the system without triggering any alerts. But her frauds came to light when a customer asked for their £1,000 deposit back.

Bray was fired from her job when the thefts were discovered, and narrowly avoided going to jail after pleading guilty to nine counts of fraud.

She was given a suspended prison sentence of eight months, 120 hours of community service and “specified activity” for ten days.

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About John Stokdyk

John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and


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11th Sep 2012 11:29

mmm.. Off the Books Bonuses?

The very mention of a car dealership makes me speculate on all sorts of interesting ways of remunerating staff - often the male testosterone driven ones rather than junior staff. That creates an atmosphere of unfairness which can be a trigger for the weak ones to start a fraud.

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11th Sep 2012 14:38

Why is the ease of the theft considered a defence?

Is that not akin to saying that it's not a thief's fault if the door is unlocked?

Is it considered a more serious crime to steal the same amount of money but having to work harder to avoid stringent internal controls to do so?

Glad to see that it did not appear to work in this case.


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By Eric T
12th Sep 2012 11:53

There does seem to be a far more lenient approach to white collar theft compared to more "traditional" theft.


The judge seems to be intimating that he/she might have been even more lenient if the fraud had been to fund "pressing needs" rather than luxuries.


So the reason behind the stealing influenced the sentencing.

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12th Sep 2012 22:37

Fake boobs[***]

I'm just very glad the accounting web team put that picture of silicone breasts[***] next to the story - I would have been completely clueless as to what cosmetic surgery the lass had otherwise.

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By Eric T
12th Sep 2012 23:08

I didn't recognise what the picture was showing - initially.

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13th Sep 2012 11:37


That an excellent hourly rate.  £16,000 (tax free) for 120 hours community service, for a higher rate tax payer that's over £200 per hour.

Nice work if you can get it!

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