A bingo hall manager has been told she could face a jail sentence after siphoning money from customer’s accounts into the account of her partner.
Forty-one year old Emma Dudley, was working as a Gala Bingo operations manager from the bingo club based in Westfield Road, Peterborough when she committed the crime. In total it is alleged that she transferred £1,447 from other people’s bingo accounts into her partners’. The transfers are said to have taken place between June and September 2011.
Dudley appeared in Peterborough Magistrate’s Court on 16th December and pled guilty to a count of fraud by abuse of position. The prosecution, lead by Anthea Harris, asserted that Dudley was able to get away with her offences for three months before anybody noticed when discussing Dudley’s position as a supervisor at Gala Bingo.
The prosecution claimed that Dudley accessed customer’s betting accounts, withdrew the funds they had won or deposited and then transferred them straight into her boyfriend’s bank account. They said she then withdrew all transferred money and spent it all on herself, her daughter, paying off debts, bills and her partner; who had no idea what she had been doing. At home, she convinced her partner that she had been using his account to play bingo as she wasn’t allowed one of her own as an employee. All the siphoned cash was explained away as her winnings from playing bingo.
After three months, Gala Bingo launched an internal investigation and Dudley admitted her offences. The prosecution further asserted that what added insult to injury in this particular case was that Dudley was able to get away with it for so long unnoticed and customer accounts were compromised.
Defending Ms. Dudley is Sara Young, who asked for a pre-sentence report to be put together by the probation service, to see exactly why Dudley had committed the offence. Defending her client, Miss Young asserted that Dudley had no previous convictions and a long history of mental health problems, which leads to the assumption that these problems could have been a reason for her actions.
The District Judge in charge of the proceedings granted the request for a report but still candidly warned Dudley that crimes such as hers were usually punishable by imprisonment as the offence was clearly ‘a serious matter’. The case adjourned with Dudley granted bail until the next hearing on January 16th 2012, again at Peterborough Magistrates Court.