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Deputy manager fraudulently claimed £8,837 wages for himself and three staff at Carmarthen care home

By LeeMacGregor  |  Posted: February 22, 2013

A  DEPUTY manager at a Carmarthen care home paid himself and three colleagues £8,837 for hours they never worked.

James Stickland, 27, of Llanpumsaint, pleaded guilty to one fraud charge and three of false accounting after claiming extra wages from the Grange, a residential home for adults with learning difficulties, in Lime Grove Avenue.

The court heard part of Stickland’s duty as a deputy manager, a role he had held for   18 months, was to fill in a spread sheet detailing the hours worked by members of staff to be sent to the company’s payroll department.

Details would include any overtime and extra payments for staying the night, shifts known as ‘sleep-ins’.

As Stickland had taken some time off, manager Steve Harvey started to fill in the sheet himself, before Stickland returned to finish it off.

Prosecutor Ellie Morgan: “Later Mr Harvey thought it would be a good idea to look at the spread sheet so he would be more confident doing it in future.

“When Mr Harvey looked at it he noticed Mr Stickland had put that he’d done some sleep-ins and he noticed the number hours for Mr Stickland were high.”

Miss Morgan said suspecting something was up, Mr Harvey checked the sheet again later, but found it had been altered to show no extra payments.

Mr Harvey contacted the company payroll to check what had been claimed, discovering discrepancies in payments to a number of staff.

An  investigation was launched.

“He had been overpaying himself and three other members of staff,” said Miss Morgan.

“To Mr Stickland there was £4,292.46, to another employee, Lukasz Perczak £1,025.28, Kate Meredith £2,638.38 and Murray Hickey £881.10.

“The total overpayment was £8,837.22.”

Defence solicitor Peter Martin said the prosecution facts were accepted.

“If you feel there is a relatively high degree of trust here then it probably needs to go to crown court for sentencing,” he told magistrates in Llanelli yesterday.

Magistrates declined jurisdiction and adjourned the case to Swansea Crown Court for sentencing next Friday.

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