Employee stole $80,000 to live high-life in New York

By Aimee Shaw

Sharin Mooney used stolen money to fund her luxury trip to New York. Photo / Facebook
Sharin Mooney used stolen money to fund her luxury trip to New York. Photo / Facebook

Former UK accounts assistant Sharin Mooney, 38, stole £44,000 (NZ $81,000) to fund a luxury trip to New York through an online purchase of specialist document-altering software.

Mooney used the software to transfered the money directly to her personal bank account, doctoring an invoice scam which lasted a total of nine months, The Sun reported.

The largest payment of £8,000 (NZ$15,000) was transferred to her account before she jetted off to the United States. It was later uncovered that Mooney had made a total of eight transactions.

Mooney pleaded guilty to embezzlement yesterday at the Greenock Sheriff Court in the UK. Sheriff Derek Hamilton warned that she faced possible jail time during sentencing next month.

During the trip Mooney posted several updates on social media of where she was staying and what she was purchasing, posting multiple selfies on Facebook.

She bragged she was staying at New York's famous Waldorf Astoria hotel and bought jewellery from Tiffany & Co and airline tickets.

Prosecutor Pamela Brady said suspicions arose after a staff member at the firm she worked at noticed a "discrepancy" with an invoice and asked Mooney to locate the original.

"A number of weeks went by and the accused did not produce the invoice. She said that she was too busy," Brady told The Sun.

A probe in to the unlocated money, uncovered transactions dating back to April 2014, with multiple payments spent on payments to loan companies, leisure activities, restaurant bills, flight costs and significant spending in New York City.

Brady said the managing director of the firm called a meeting with the accused and the company solicitor who later admitting to stealing the money.

"She stated that she had financial problems," Brady said.

Defendant Ellen Macdonald said Mooney had taken on "family debt" after the sudden death of her father.

- NZ Herald

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