£95,000 payments were for overtime, claimed Hoxton press agency worker

The building in Southgate Road where Barcroft Media is based.

The building in Southgate Road where Barcroft Media is based. - Credit: Archant

A finance manager fleeced Barcroft Media press agency out of nearly £100,000, claiming the payments were for overtime.

Katie Crilly, 29, paid herself £95,052.82 from Barcroft Media’s company account over 15 months.

The £30,000 a year finance manager altered invoices and added misleading references to the ledgers to disguise outgoing payments at the firm in Southgate Road, Hoxton, which produces news features that are published across newspapers and magazines.

After moving £2,484 to her personal bank account, Crilly pretended the funds were for a computing retailer before using its trading name as a reference.

Crilly told jurors all payments into her account were actually for overtime that had been agreed with her boss, Sam Barcroft.

She claimed she made the payments out of the company’s accounts without a reference to overtime because no one told her otherwise.

But a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court convicted her of theft and fraud by abuse of the position she held between May 2009 and August 2010.

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She was caught out in August last year after Mr Barcroft noticed some suspicious outgoings and hired a team of auditors to go through the company accounts.

Crilly claimed all the payments into her account had been agreed with Mr Barcroft for her extra work.

“I was in complete shock when I was arrested and I have no idea why Sam’s now denying giving me all that overtime,” said Crilly.

“I don’t know why it wasn’t picked up before if what I was doing was so incorrect.”

Crilly, of Cuffley, Hertfordshire, denied a count each of theft by employe and fraud by abuse of position but was jailed for three and a half years.