A woman has been jailed for stealing more than £200,000 of public funds from Rugeley Town Council.
Rebecca Mason took the money in more than 200 payments between February 2017 and December last year - while working as an assistant town clerk.
The 42 year old admitted fraud - and has now been handed a four year jail term.
Checks revealed Mason, aged 42, has spent all of the money and now has little or no means.
The money was defrauded from the council’s accounts into her own savings account by way of false accounting. Mason then transferred the money across to her current account and spent it. She said the money had been spent on keeping horses, a deposit for a flat, and a holiday in Turkey amongst other expenditure and admitted that most of it had been ‘frittered away’.
As assistant town clerk Mason’s role had been to administer and monitor financial and payroll systems. When a clerk from another parish council was appointed she raised concerns over a number of money transfers that had been taking place on a monthly basis.
Mason, of School Walk, Chase Terrace, admitted to police she had disguised the payments made to her account, falsely attributing money she had stolen as an excessive gas and electric bill.
Detective Constable Nick Gorman, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a significant amount of money that was stolen from the public purse by Rebecca Mason who dishonestly abused her position for her own financial gain in this case. Although she pleaded guilty at the first opportunity she knows this was a betrayal of trust that continued for some time.”