A Chester-Le-Street Woman has been jailed for four years and six months after she illicitly stole over £1.3 million pounds from the bank she worked for, which she used to fund a luxury lifestyle on the sly.

32 year old Laura Matthews, an employee of Virgin Money, committed the theft over a course of six years and engaged in accounting fraud to cover her tracks, including falsifying records.

Using the cash, she bought horses, a new BMW, paid off debts to pay day loan companies and more.

But her theft would be discovered when one day she was on leave, an employee noticed a payment which could not be accounted for, and found that £23,000 had mysteriously been paid into her account.

Only later did a full internal audit expose the vast amount of money that had been lost, far exceeding her claim that she only stole £34,000. The money unfortunately had all been spent, but further legal action against her may still be pursued.

Matthews is described as a “Loner” and prosecutors state she was motivated to commit the crime by the breakdown of her relationship, the idea she could “buy” friends and her love of horses.

By SGM

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