Internet Gambling Addiction Ruins Trust

Thanks to Judge George Moorhouse of Teesside Crown Court, William Richardson of County Durham in the UK has luckily escaped imprisonment this week. Twenty-seven year old father-of-two was imposed a suspended sentence of six months instead, and ordered to pay a GBP 2,000 compensation and carry out 200 hours of community work for stealing money from his employer to feed an online gambling habit.

The trusted son of a family friend of his Darlington-based employer, Richardson transferred over GBP 10,000 company money into his own account for use on various internet betting sites, leaving the firm where he worked as an office manager in financial difficulty.

Hearing that Richardson was of 'impeccable' previous character and had sought help for his gambling addiction, as well as getting the employer's evidence of trusting him implicitly, even planning to eventually give him a partnership, judge Moorhouse told the accused: 'This was a clear breach of trust. Your employer treated you as his own son.'

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said that a total of GBP 10,662 was taken from the accounts between January and September last year: 'He was given an opportunity to pay the money back, but none has been forthcoming.'

It was only when Richardson's employer heard reports that his office manager was spending a lot of money that the fraud was detected, and then confirmed when the company finances were closely scrutinised.

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