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Welsh PA jailed for stealing £40K from employer

A Newport-based PA who claims she stole £40,000 from her employer to fund her gambling addiction has been jailed.

Elizabeth Fawcett worked as a personal assistant for senior members of management at communications company Cassidian. She was recruited in 2011 and developed a reputation as a trustworthy individual, according to Prosecutor Julian Greenwood. She was later given a two-year fixed-term contract of employment, reports the South Wales Argus.

As with other Cassidian employees, Fawcett was told she could get a credit card for business use. She used the card to purchase expensive plane tickets for staff to far-away places, then cancelled the flights and had the money reimbursed to her personal account. She also claimed money back on flights that had already been properly refunded to other members of staff.

Cassidian, a subsidiary of Airbus that now trades under that name, discovered the theft in 2013 and suspended Fawcett. She later resigned from her position and was given the opportunity to pay back the £40,234.95 she had stolen. When she failed to do so, the company reported the crime to the authorities.

After she was arrested, Fawcett admitted stealing the money, although she claims the first incident was a mistake. She later told investigators she used the money to fund her £1,000-a-day gambling addiction.

During the trial, it came to light that Fawcett had committed similar offences at previous employers in 2003, along with other dishonesty charges in 1990, 1991 and 1992. She has been jailed for 18 months on this occasion.

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