The manager of a cash advance shop in Wigan who stole more than £6,000 from his employers by faking customer accounts has been sent to jail.
David Seal pretended that customers had “rolled over” their loan debt or taken out extra loans and pocketed the money, a court heard.
His dishonesty came to light when two customers had money taken from their bank accounts by the firm, National Cash Advance, which wrongly believed they had defaulted, said Karen Brooks, prosecuting at Liverpool Crown Court.
An internal audit was carried out by the company of the branch in Wallgate, Wigan which 31-year-old Seal managed and it was found that over seven months ending in July there had been 12 fraudulent transactions involving nine customers.
Seal, who was off work at the time of the discovery following his mother’s death, was arrested and later dismissed following disciplinary proceedings.
Mrs Brooks said: “When interviewed by police he accepted he had taken out false loans from details of existing customers for family reasons but then accepted he had continued by using the money for gambling.”
Seal, of Rookley Close, Netherley, Liverpool, pleaded guilty when he appeared at court to fraud, involving a total of £6,140. Sentencing him to four months suspended imprisonment, Judge David Swift said it was a persistent offence and the victims of these false ‘pay day loans’ had financial difficulties and were vulnerable.
He also ordered Seal, who has no previous convictions, to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.
Mr Kevin Liston, defending, said that Seal, who has a new job, lives with his partner and two children and also supports three other children.
He said: “He is full of shame and remorse for his actions.
“He did not try to shift the blame and recognises the result of his behaviour on the customers.”
He said that the catalyst for his client’s offending was his mother’s diagnosis in December last year of terminal cancer.
His father was forced to take time off work to care for her and that meant that there was a drain on the family resources.
His father asked to borrow £200 which regrettably Seal took from work intending to repay it but found himself in a “downward spiral of chasing debt after debt.”
“He was also gambling to try to clear his debts to the company but the bookmaker who was the only victor,” said Mr Liston.