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Abbey adviser fled after £300k fraud

An Abbey banking adviser suspected of a massive fraud fled the country following a bank audit before returning to face arrest, a court heard.

Susan Robertson, 50, a personal banking adviser with Abbey in Milngavie near Glasgow, admitted a series of embezzlement charges when she appeared before Dumbarton sheriff court.

The court heard that in addition to her banking duties, Robertson also had access to the secure compu- ter system as part of her bookkeeping work.

Prosecutor Malcolm McLeod said: “The embezzlement involved the accused making false cheque payments into her own account. She was also creating false credits on the head office general account because there had to be a balance between branch office and the head office.

“These involved ever increasing amounts and that is what really alerted Abbey National to the incident.”

The court heard that while waiting the result of the audit, Robertson fled abroad with her husband and two children, returning months later to be arrested and face charges.

The court was told that Robertson had reached an agreement with the bank that she had embezzled a total of £300,000 from the Milngavie branch between 2000 and 2005.

Robertson’s lawyer told the court that the money had been used for day-to-day expenses after her husband’s business went bankrupt. Robertson put the family home up for sale to repay the bank.

Sheriff Simon Fraser told Robertson: “You have plea- ded guilty to a very serious offence. There is a question of repayment over the monies you embezzled, which is very important when it comes to any sentence. I am told your house is on the market.

“If Abbey is repaid, then that will be reflected in the sentence, whatever that is. I am not making any predictions at this stage.”

Robertson was allowed to stay free on bail pend- ing sentencing.

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