A managing director of Axcis Education Recruitment, a firm hiring special needs teachers for schools, is facing jail for stealing £55,000 from her company to pay for a luxury holiday to the Far East, gastric band surgery and dog grooming. Jean Wilson, spent almost £10,000 on an extravagant holiday – organised through Audley Travel – where she stayed in luxury hotels.
She also spent over £9,000 on a gastric band operation which helped her lose more than six stone in just five months. Cardiff Crown Court also heard that thousands of pounds had been spent on luxury dog groomers and vets for her pet dogs. Wilson posted her own bank details on invoices, enabling her to scam the firm out of thousands of pounds.
Prosecutor Sam Shepard said: ‘The defendant has pleaded guilty to deliberately falsifying records including invoices, impersonating clients by email, and of taking large sums of money.
‘The defendant presented in most cases invoices purporting to be invoices for legitimate uses for the company’s spending money but in actual fact the bank details were that of recipients for the defendant’s personal benefit.
‘This was an abuse of trust as managing director – the manipulation of invoices was sophisticated, involved planning and was conducted over a significant period of time.’
Wilson, a former teacher, also submitted an invoice for £9,504 supposedly for a bill covering the National College of Teaching, but it was in fact made out to a company called Healthier Weight to pay for her gastric band operation, in which she lost over 6 stone in 5 months.
One invoice, purportedly for a special needs magazine, was in fact a £420 bill for a domestic upholstery cleaning company used by a friend of Wilson. She also engaged with contracts and suppliers for the company and inflated and falsified actual costs which meant she had an ‘additional bonus’ at the end of the year.
Robert Goodwin, defending, said his client accepted she had abused her position and agreed there was a level of sophistication to the deception but added it was ‘inevitable’ she would get caught.
He said: ‘She can’t remember in detail what she was doing at the time because of her mental health.
‘She accepts she took the money but she struggles to identify when she did it or why she did it.’
He added: ‘She says her mental health problems and manic depression makes her spend money on frivolous things.
‘Her property in Porthcawl was rented out for free while she rented a mansion in Cowbridge. She said she now has no further assets which has led to a deterioration of her mental health.’
Mr Goodwin said Wilson would be willing to give up her pension as means of compensation to the company. Recorder of Cardiff, Eleri Rees, adjourned the sentence so that mental health reports could be made.
Wilson was granted bail under her sentencing on November 29.
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