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      Prep school PA spared jail in fraud case

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      Last year, we reported on Valerie Barber, a PA at a famed London prep school who duped parents into wiring money directly into her account. Barber has now been spared a lengthy jail term by pleading guilty to one count of fraud.

      The final figure of funds stolen by Barber is reported by the court as £151,957, which she accumulated over a four-year period between 2010 and 2014. She managed to convince parents of students at Pembridge High School in Notting Hill to wire regular payments of £1,000-£2,000 into her account in a bid to avoid detection.

      During the case, it came to light that Barber had also ‘borrowed’ money directly from the school. She was caught red handed by an email trail and immediately sacked from the £18,500-a-year all-girls school.

      Barber claims she was depressed because her husband couldn’t work and feared for the life of her son, who was serving in Afghanistan. She admitted fraud in court and was handed a 20-month sentence suspended for two years at Isleworth Crown Court.

      The school was not left out of pocket because it is insured, according to evidence given in court. Barber claims she is £30,000 in debt after paying back £26,104 to the school, including £5,000 to parents.

      Read the original article at bit.ly/1Qfjr1f

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      AUTHOR

      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson