Thieving ex council worker from Warton is given more time to pay her ill gotten gains
A former Blackpool Council worker who stole tens of thousands of pounds from the authority has been given more time to pay her ill gotten gains back, after a judge was told about her efforts to get the cash.
Elizabeth Kift, 43, of Church Road, Warton, previously pleaded guilty to committing theft between January 2006 and December 2011, when she was employed as a landlord liaison officer.
She manipulated bonds for rent to steal the money.
In May 2015 she was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment suspended for two years, with 12 months of supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work.
Under Proceeds of Crime legislation (POCA), the authorities can revisit a convicted criminal’s assets and finances in the future, even if they are not deemed to have any assets to seize at the time they are prosecuted.
A previous POCA hearing in July was told she had benefitted by £180,000 but only had £21,035 available to the authorities and she was given three months to pay it.
But Kift, who attended Lytham St Annes technology college, appeared before Burnley Crown Court where she requested the order was varied to allow her more time to try and pay the cash.
She told the court a property was being sold to get the cash and that she would will pay in full when she has the funds.
Judge Philip Parry said he was happy to grant more time but warned her if she did not pay the cash back she would face 18 months in prison in default.
He agreed she would have until November 1 to pay and said the proceedings would not be enforced until that date was reached.
Kift's greedy crimes came at a time when Blackpool Council is trying to balance devastating budget cuts.
A total of 300 jobs, including 50 contracts, are due to be lost with areas including libraries, public health and children’s services facing cuts.
In the next financial year, the council must also meet the cost of the new living wage for its staff, and spiralling demand on adult social care.
Kift is understood to run a florist in Warton with her sister, and is the director of a planning firm.