Company secretary abused her position to get £102,000

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

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THE company secretary of a Lancashire firm has admitted dishonestly abusing her position in order to gain around £102,000 for herself.

Donna Louise Smith, pleaded guilty to committing fraud between December 2013 and June 2015 while she worked as a company secretary for Helen Standing Ltd, based at the South Preston Office Village, Cuerden Way, Bamber Bridge, near Preston.

It is understood the 40-year-old, of Ridley Road, Ashton, Preston, had worked for the firm for around 15 years.

The company is involved in the pub trade.

The Evening Post was told in July 2015 an external accountant was asked to review the business accounts and a request was made for an explanation of payments made to two payees between February 2013 and June 2015.

A subsequent financial probe found 484 payments had been made to the bank accounts of the defendant and her husband.

The payments amounted to more than £102,000.

It is understood Donna Smith gave a no comment interview to police officers about the money, and she was later charged with a single count of fraud.

Smith was granted conditional bail after her sentence hearing was adjourned at Preston Crown Court.

She is now expected to be sentenced on October 11.

The company declined to make a comment.