15th of December 2015 Author: Glo Wood
A 57-year-old woman, Caroline Dumont, earned £3,000 a month as a bookkeeper and stole nearly £1 million from the companies she worked for to support her online bingo habit.
Dumont was recently convicted and sentenced to 3 years in hail following her court hearing where she pled guilty to fraudulently acquiring GBP 913,000 from Tara Plant Hire and GBP 33,000 from Steadfast Carpentry, according to the Kent Messenger news publication.
She began playing online Slots at Mecca Bingo after going through a divorce in 2011. Her play turned into a £50,000 a month habit prompting her to steal from her employers.
She quickly became a VIP and was given a trip to Las Vegas and a Caribbean cruise. Dumont was living the high life as a gambler but she lived in a council home with a £36,000 a year salary and owned a 13-year-old car.
Her actions nearly forced one of her employers into bankruptcy. The court heard how Dumont had started out taking small amount but as time went on without anyone catching on, she began to take larger amounts.
'I had been at Tara six years and they trusted me. I took GBP 50 one week. Then I was short again, so I borrowed GBP100. Soon I was taking as much as GBP 3,000 every few days. At its height I was taking up to GBP 20,000 a week, betting GBP 250 a time," she told the court.
Although she admitted her wrong doing, Dumont placed some of the blame on Mecca Bingo for taking action based on her level of gambling activity.
'I could've been stopped," she said. "In 2012 Mecca had enough evidence to trigger a warning system. When gambling spirals out of control it's their duty to tell the Gambling Commission.'
The Gambling Commission required Mecca owner Rank Digital to forfeit the near one million pounds Dumont wagered at the site and the company said it "...voluntarily surrendered profits from Miss Dumont's transaction, as agreed with the Gambling Commission.'
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