Council manager dipped into vulnerable people’s money on little and often basis to siphon off £12,000 for herself, court told

Council manager denies fraud

Council manager denies fraud - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk County Council employee dipped into funds she looked after for vulnerable people to siphon off £12,000 for herself, a court heard.

Caroline Green, of Smithy Close, Rougham, has denied six charges of fraud by abuse of her position as a business support manager.

At the opening of the 44-year-old’s Ipswich Crown Court trial prosecutor Anthony Abell said the county council assists adults with difficulties to manage their finances.

Their income is paid into an account held by the council. Money is managed for them with weekly withdrawals by their carer, NHS representatives or social workers.

Green was based at West Suffolk House in Bury St Edmunds at the time of the alleged offences.

Part of her role was to manage the fund of money kept by the council. Green maintained the records, accounted for movement of funds and was responsible for the management of a cash float.

Mr Abell said: “She was in a position of trust of that cash which actually belonged to vulnerable adults.

Most Read

“The prosecution’s case is Caroline Green abused her position of trust over an 18-month or so period by stealing little and often, relatively small sums - £50 here, £100 there – from the cash float and fraudulently covering up her thieving by altering the accounting documents which she had responsibility for maintaining in order to cover up her stealing and balance the books.”

The jury was told when the person responsible for looking after the vulnerable adult asked for money Green would hand over what was asked for but would withdraw a larger sum and keep the difference.

Green would then alter receipts or vouchers and enter the inflated payments into the computer system to look as if more cash had been collected than was actually the case.

It was said that sometimes a figure was altered on a cash voucher by turning a two into a three, or by ‘Tippexing’ the figure and overwriting another figure on it.

On other occasions it is alleged Green would make an extra entry on a movement form to show an extra cash payment.

Mr Abell said: “The total amount that she stole by these means is in the region of £12,000. That was money that related to these vulnerable adults.

“It was effectively their money being held in trust for them.”

Seven people are named in the six charges including an elderly couple.

The alleged fraud is said to have taken place between November 1, 2010, and July 31, 2012.

The trial continues.