Laura Sharman 13 September 2021

Former employees convicted of fraud against council

Former employees convicted of fraud against council image

Two women have been found guilty of creating a 'phantom' employee to defraud a council and a charity out of more than £40,000.

Kalvinder Garcha used her position as head of corporate resources at Oadby and Wigston Borough Council to help Lynn Middleton, head of human resources, to create an employee that existed but never did any work for the council.

The 'phantom' employee was Ms Middleton’s sister, Sharon Reeve, who received a salary for two years from the council and seven weeks from charity Coping with Cancer.

Ms Middleton pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and two counts of conspiracy to money launder in 2019, while Ms Reeves pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to money launder during the trial.

Ms Garcha has now been found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and two counts of money.

Detective Sergeant Matt Swift from the Economic Crime Unit at Leicestershire Police, said: 'Both Garcha and Middleton abused their positions within both organisations for their own financial gain, with no regard for the fact that they were not only conning a local authority but also a local cancer charity.

'We are pleased that this case has now, after many years, come to a successful conclusion and we’d like to thank Oadby & Wigston Council and Coping with Cancer for their support and co-operation throughout the last few years.

'Middleton did the right thing earlier in the legal process and admitted her involvement in these offences and also agreed to assist the prosecution.'

Photo: © Mat Fascione

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