Mum stole £250,000 to pay for extravagant lifestyle as she battled depression

A mother who stole £250,000 from her workplace used the money to fund her ‘lavish’ lifestyle and has been jailed for the offence.

Angela Boote worked at an insurance brokerage where she was responsible for managing certain corporate banking functions. The mother took advantage of the position she was in and took money for herself.

Over a two-and-a-half-year period, Boote was found to send payments intended for customers to numerous personal accounts, including for one of his daughters. Another account, the one she shared with her husband, was also used although there is no suggestion they were involved in the scheme.

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In order to cover their tracks, Boote created elaborate paper trails. The 52-year-old, who has two children, was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court. Sarah Griffin, prosecuting, said Boote had worked for her employers since 1994 and many of her colleagues saw her as a trusted staff member of the firm, whose clients ranged from charities to NHS trusts, MEN reports.

Ms Griffin said: “In March 2016, Ms Boote was responsible for credit control, management of the corporate bank and credit control functions. She initiated payments to clients with respect to refunds or overpayments of insurance premiums.

In early 2017, it was discovered that she had launched a theft campaign which eventually saw her redirect £255,854.32 to four accounts linked to her. Ms Griffin said that instead of sending money for refunds to customer accounts, Boote would send them to four accounts linked to herself before covering up her dishonesty.

It was a customer who noticed the refund hadn’t been issued that Boote was discovered – the customer noticed that a refund of £224 hadn’t been paid into his account while Boote was on leave in January 2020. A colleague handling the complaint later revealed that the money had been sent to his daughter’s account, ultimately triggering an internal investigation. Forensic accountants uncovered 96 fraudulent payments made by Boote over a two-and-a-half-year period.

She was fired and later admitted to the theft in police interviews before pleading guilty in court. Lionel Grieg, defending, said Boote felt deep remorse and her actions spun out of control as she sought to cure her depression by stealing to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

Angela Boote, 52, of Lower Lane, Liverpool, was jailed for 40 months at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday March 28, 2022.

He said: “She not only let down her family, but also her co-workers, whom she has worked with for years and who trusted her implicitly.” Mr Grieg said she has started to repay the money and has so far repaid £84,000 through the inheritance she received from her aunt.

Further civil legal proceedings to recover more money are ongoing. Recorder David Knifton QC said Boote’s actions devastated many of his colleagues and seriously damaged the company’s reputation, while Boote used them for his own pleasure.

Mr Knifton said: ‘You used the funds to support your lavish lifestyle, particularly expensive holidays.’ Boote, of Lower Lane, was jailed for 40 months.

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