• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

The punishment for embezzlers who stole large amounts of money to gamble is very different

Posting date: 14 July 2023 at 8:40h

Last updated: July 14, 20,23 at 10:02 a.m.
Two similar schemes fueled by a gambling addiction resulted in two completely different punishments. Two similar schemes fueled by a penchant for gambling resulted in two completely dissimilar punishments.

The Gloucester Crown Court in Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom. A judge saved from prison a former banker who embezzled money to fund his gambling addiction. One case involved an ex-bank manager in England and the other a postal worker from Scotland. In both scenarios, the individuals had stolen massive amounts – at least PS160,000 (US$209,680) – from their respective employers.

Gloucester Crown Court, Shire Hall, Longsmith Street, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
One walked away with a suspended sentence and no jail time. Bank Manager gets a slap on the wrist

BBC reported that a former Lloyds bank manager will be required to repay money he stole but not spend any time in jail. A Gloucester Crown Court judge found Ashley Chamberlain guilty of stealing PS175,000 (US$229,337) from the bank for his gambling addiction.

Beginning in December 2017, the 34-year-old began swiping funds, continuing his embezzlement until June 2021. The problem was not discovered until a bank audit was performed. When bank officials approached Chamberlain he confessed to his deception. He later explained that he spent approximately PS970,000 ($1.27 million) on gambling online, and needed money to continue his streak. He repeatedly transferred money from the bank’s accounts to his own, then forwarded it to a separate account he maintained for gambling.

Chamberlain and his lawyer asked for leniency when he made his appearance in court. He was receiving Gamblers Anonymous treatment and had not gambled for over two years. He’s trying to sell his house and took all the money from his pension plan to make restitution.

The judge accepted the arguments and gave him a two-year jail sentence that he then suspended for 18 months. At the same time, he ordered Chamberlain to complete 250 hours of community service and give Lloyds an additional PS30,000 (US$39,315).

In Lerwick, Scotland, Jack Simpson wasn’t as lucky. The 29-year-old former postal clerk received his lengthy sentence for stealing PS160,000 (US$209,680) from the postal service.

Simpson pulled off his heist in only six months, from January to August 2021. The money was meant to be delivered to the main Post Office but instead, he and his former partner put it in their own accounts. According to

The Shetland Times

, the money went on to betting accounts with Betfred and Paddy Power. According to reports, he had 25 betting accounts through which he lost the entire amount of money.

The 28-month sentence could have been even worse. Last year, a former Scottish member of parliament, Natalie McGarry, received two years for embezzling just PS24,635 (US$32,635) from two groups for which she worked as their treasurer.

There’s obviously no law that says the countries of the UK must have similar laws. The sentences given to Chamberlain and Simpson demonstrate the differences between England and Scotland. However, for a person “charged with embezzlement in the Sheriff Court on summary complaint (before a Sheriff sitting without a jury), the maximum sentence which can be imposed is 12 months imprisonment or a fine of PS10,000 (US$13,101).”

On the other hand, the Scottish law firm of Graham Walker shows a different approach in the country. On its website, it explains that “Depending on whether or not your case is heard by the Sheriff Court or High Court, charges could be up to 5 years.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *