A fraudster who stole £136,000 from her firm – leaving her former colleagues at risk of redundancy – has been jailed for two years.
Gemma Freeman “frittered” the cash away on luxuries at a rate of £13,000-a-month.
The 28-year-old squandered every penny on “quick fixes” to cheer herself up and was still in debt, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
But Nicholas Burn, prosecuting, said Walsall-based Careerlink, which employed her in its payroll department, now faced tax problems and the “looming threat” of having to make redundancies.
Kate Thomas, defending, said Freeman, of Shepherd Road, Willenhall, suffered from depression.
She said the money was “quite simply frittered away.”
Ms Thomas added: “She went out for meals and to the theatre – things that made her feel better.
“It was a quick fix, a buzz and a release from the pressure cooker of events around her.
“She still has new clothes hanging up with the labels attached.
“She is a fine, hardworking lady who fell due to a set of circumstances.”
Freeman admitted fraud by abuse of position.
Judge Amjad Nawaz said there was a “degree of sophistication” to her dishonesty.
And he said he found it hard to understand how her difficulties had lead her to steal other people’s money.
He said she still had her debts, adding: “You have spent all the money on yourself.
“That can only be called luxury.”