Trusted worker jailed for £70k theft from vets
A SUSPICIOUS vet marked envelopes used for transferring cash to catch a receptionist who was stealing from his surgery.
Eleanor Long, 33, was jailed for 15 months for taking more than £70,000 at Clifton Villa Veterinary Surgery at Camborne. It also has branches in Truro, Tregony and Newquay.
Last July, one of the partners, Andrew Parker, launched an internal inquiry into financial irregularities
Garth Richardson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was the receptionists' responsibility to place cheque and cash payments from customers in an envelope and into the safe, where it would then be taken to the bank in Truro.
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Judge John Neligan described the system used at the branch for payments as "haphazard" and based entirely on trust.
This system allowed Long, of Centenary Street, Camborne, to get away with taking money for more than five years.
Mr Parker used marked envelopes to find the culprit and she later told him she thought she had taken about £30,000 but had no idea of the full extent as she would take anything between £50 and £300.
In total she stole £73,826 between April, 6, 2007 and July 17, 2012.
Jeremy Leaning, for the defence, said: "This was hand-in-till pilfering – simple in its execution, protracted in its long-term extent."
He added Long had paid the stolen cash into her bank account, allowing the police to calculate how much she had taken.
He said: "She has let herself down in the most disgraceful manner, pilfering money over a protracted period from her employer."
Judge Neligan said: "This was a small veterinary practice and that practice could ill afford such a loss.
"Mercifully it has not had to cease trading but it has had an effect on the partners and other employees."