The Little Red Bus manager jailed for theft of nearly £100,000

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A former office manager has been jailed for stealing almost £100,000 from a charitable trust which eventually collapsed as a result of her crimes.

Within months of taking up the full-time post of office manager at the Bentham Development Trust, Anne Yaman began forging signatures on cheques to obtain money for herself and then used internet banking to steal a total of £94,000 between January 2009 and November 2011.

Prosecutor Matthew Bean told Bradford Crown Court that Anne’s offending only came to light in November 2011 when the trust management was told that new kitchen appliances at her home had been paid for using the trust’s account.

The court heard that as a consequence of Anne’s acts the trust ceased trading in March 2012, by which time it was mainly involved in providing bus services to the community under the name of The Little Red Bus.

Matthew Bean said the freezing of the trust’s bank account led to financial difficulties for members of staff and 15 part-time employees were made redundant.

Anne, who moved to Seaford in East Sussex, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, fraud and false accounting, last June, but her sentence was repeatedly delayed on the grounds of serious medical problems.

But this week it emerged that the 64-year-old had herself forged a series of letters from doctors and consultants which exaggerated her health difficulties.

Judge Rose jailed Anne for three years for the offences involving the trust and added a further 16 months for the offence of perverting the course of justice by submitting the bogus letters to the court.

Anne was sentenced via a video link to HMPH Bronzefield in Surrey.