Sister stole from brother’s firm

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A woman who stole from her brother’s company after offering to act as an unpaid bookkeeper has avoided a prison term.

Lisa Williams used a debit card to transfer cash from the company’s account into her own, Preston Crown Court heard.

Prosecuting, Hanifa Patel described to the court how 
Williams, 36, of Leicester Court, Preston, had persuaded their father to lend them £10,000 to help her brother Lloyd restart his car body shop business.

She said: “This defendant offered to help the victim by doing some book keeping.

“He did tell her that he would not be able to pay her because it was a very new business but if the business in the future did do well he would take her on.

“At no time did their father tell them the money was being given to both of them.

“In December 2012 the victim began getting cheques bouncing back and noticed that bills had not been paid and he received a notice saying that he hadn’t paid his council tax.

“The victim was surprised because as far as he knew there was sufficient money in the account.

“He began checking his statements and discovered that money had been taken out of the business account.”

Further checks showed bills on a document had been marked as paid when they had not been, and 32 unexplained transactions totalling £2,310.57.

Later Williams sent her mother text messages saying it had happened because she had been ill and working from bed, and was “trying to stop worrying Lloyd”.

Defending, Lucy Wright told the court that Williams had since reconciled with her family.

Judge Michael Leeming sentenced Williams to 12 weeks jail – however he suspended the prison term for 12 months.

Williams was also ordered to pay £250 compensation and do 100 hours unpaid work.