Welsh Bank Manager Spent $18,000 on Company Card to Fund Gambling Habit

  • Barrie Mitchell was caught out after submitting expenses while sick
  • He was found to have used a company credit card to play online
  • The accused was spending up to £1000 a week on gambling
  • He received a suspended sentence and will undertake 180 hours of unpaid work
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A bank manager from Wales has been prosecuted after stealing from his employer to fund his gambling habit.

Defrauded employer

A bank manager from Newport, Wales, in the UK pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud when he appeared in court this week.

Mitchell would spend up to £1,000 a week on gambling using a Skrill account.

Barrie Mitchell, a married father-of-three who worked for Lloyds Banking Group, was accused of defrauding his employer of £15,280 ($18,561) after using company credit cards to fund an online gambling habit.

During the trial at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday, lawyers told the court that Mitchell had been provided with a company card for expenses. In October 2018, the bank launched an investigation into misuse of the card for “personal spending” to the total of £1019.17 ($1238) in just five months.

Prosecutors told the court how Mitchell, also a school governor, would spend up to £1,000 ($1214) a week on gambling using a Skrill account. He admitted to his employer that he had used the card for personal items and was then suspended.

On further investigation, the company found that since October 2016, Mitchell had been submitting expenses claims to a friend in the company instead of to his line manager. The bank manager had also signed off sick from work during the period in which some of the transactions were made, proving that they could not have been related to work travel.

30 fraudulent offenses

Over a period of three years, Mitchell submitted some 30 fraudulent expenses claims, amounting to a total of £13,360 ($16,229). With the credit card fraud added to this amount, the total he stole from his former employer came to £15,280 ($18,555).

The court was told that Mitchell had paid back the full amount by forfeiting a proportion of his pension fund. The accused also said he takes full responsibility for his actions and apologized to everyone who had been affected by them, adding “I want to do the right thing.”

The total he stole from his former employer came to £15,280.

“Until now, I would have appeared to be a happy family man with three children and a successful career and active in my local community through my work as a school governor. However, the reality is I am a depressive who became trapped in a cycle of debt. Those are not excuses for my actions, but motives.”

Accepted responsibility

The judge handed Mitchell a 14-month sentence suspended for 18 months, after it was accepted that he had taken responsibility for his actions, attended counseling, and received help for his addiction. Mitchell had also used self-exclusion methods to stop himself from gambling again.

He was instead ordered to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work, as well as pay a surcharge of £140 ($170) and prosecution costs of £340 ($413).