Houghton woman admits £7,827 fraud while working for florist

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A DISHONEST Carlisle-area sales assistant has admitted to multiple fraud offenses that resulted in her using a customer’s bank card details to spend his money.

Kellie Harper, 32, of Knells, Houghton, who was employed by a florist when she committed her offences, defrauded customers into spending their money after taking their flower orders.

She appeared in Rickergate City Court today via video link and pleaded guilty to the following seven offences:

* Between November 26, 2019 and August 29, 2020, committed “abuse of position” fraud while working in a position of trust as a sales assistant for Flowers Same day, using the bank details of a client to make a gain for herself, said is worth £189.

* Between 1 November 2019 and 30 October the following year, committed fraud by false representation, obtaining property worth £1,311.

* On the same dates, committed similar fraud, using a customer’s bank card details to purchase items worth £4,987.

* During the same period, committed a similar fraud, realizing a gain worth £829.

* During the same period, committed a similar fraud, realizing a gain valued at £188.

* Over a similar period, committed similar fraud using a customer’s bank details to obtain goods worth £219.

* And during the same period committed similar fraud buying items worth £100.

Peter Kelly, prosecuting, said the defendant committed the offenses while employed as a sales assistant, taking orders for the Flowers Same Day company. The total value of admitted fraud was £7,827.

Mr Kelly said aggravating features included the length of time the fraud was taking place and the breach of trust involved.

The starting point for such an offence, the prosecutor pointed out, was 18 months in police custody. “The most appropriate place [for sentence] would be the Crown Court,” Mr Kelly added as he addressed the magistrates.

Magistrates said they agreed and sent the defendant’s case to Carlisle Crown Court for a sentencing hearing on April 9. They said that before this hearing, the probation service should prepare a background report on Harper.

She was released on bail in the meantime.

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