£100,000 charity fraudster exposed – BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

It’s about the fraudster jailed for 18 months for a ‘sophisticated’ scam to defraud £100,000 from the charity where she worked for more than 20 years.

Fundraiser Nuala McLaughlin (48) was caged last week after pleading guilty to defrauding a small charity business over a six-year period between 2013 and 2019.

It is the first time the calculating scammer has been pictured in the media since she was convicted of pocketing £100,656 of the charity’s money.

McLaughlin, a widowed mother of two from Mansefield Heights in Portglenone, previously confessed to one count of abuse of position fraud at Antrim Crown Court.

Prosecutor Michael Chambers told the court how McLaughlin was the financial manager of the Antrim Enterprise Agency when the registered charity reported alleged thefts to police in December 2020.

An earlier audit found a series of unauthorized transfers from the charity’s account to an unidentified national account over six years, with the transfers amounting to £100,656.

McLaughlin was initially questioned on December 2, 2020 by Antrim Enterprise Agency and denied any wrongdoing, the court heard.

However, the next day she emailed a charity board member to confess “that she was the holder of the identified Nationwide bank account and was responsible for the transactions identified as irregular,” the court said.

Ordering McLaughlin to serve six months of his prison sentence and the rest on license, Judge Patrick Kinney told the scammer that his offenses had multiple aggravating characteristics, including “gross breach of trust” and the fact that his “sophisticated” fraud had been perpetrated against a charity over an extended period.

Judge Kinney also revealed that McLaughlin had fabricated transactions on the Antrim Enterprise Agency’s Danske Bank account in an attempt to conceal the true details of the transfers.

She also created fake invoices to cover up the paper trail that would ultimately lead her back to her, the court heard.

During her sentencing remarks, Justice Kinney noted, by way of mitigation, that she pleaded guilty and showed “genuine remorse and victim insight”.

However, he also pointed out that there was no real motivation given by the defendant, other than general financial difficulties in the family home.

Although he admitted that she was unlikely to re-offend and posed no danger to the public, Judge Kinney told him that a prison sentence was unavoidable given the measures she had taken to perpetrate the frauds, the length of time they were committed and the breach of trust against a charity.

An application for proceeds of crime in this case is scheduled for September.

The Antrim Enterprise Agency is a registered charity providing support and advice to budding businesses and budding entrepreneurs.

The charity’s website describes the organization as ‘a leading business center in the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey’, which is a ‘business advice centre’ which ‘supports businesses at every stage of the process”.

McLaughlin had worked at the agency for decades and was their longest-serving employee with the charity, thanking her for 21 years of service in October 2016 with a Facebook post.

In the post, the organization said: “Nuala McLaughlin, our Head of Finance and Development, celebrated 21 years with the Enterprise Centre.

“She started as a receptionist and worked her way up through the organization.”

McLaughlin has regularly organized and participated in workshops and networking events on behalf of the agency to help people starting their own businesses.

She was also regularly photographed at award ceremonies and community events, while helping with various aspects of the charity’s work, including helping students learn interview skills.

Comments are closed.