A care manager whose job was to look after the bank accounts of vulnerable people in Burnley has been jailed for 14 months after admitting stealing £35,395 from them.
Carl Storer (29) of Herbert Street, Padiham, siphoned the money from the bank accounts of eight people while working for the Alternative Futures Group to help pay for his gambling addiction.
A gross breach of trustJudge Andrew Woolman
Storer, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud by abuse of position, was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court by Judge Andrew Woolman, who described the crime as “a gross breach of trust.”
The offences took place between September 1st 2014, and March 7th this year, involving vulnerable victims from Burnley and Huncoat.
The court heard that Storer was responsible for 15 staff in three sites including Huntroyde Close and Ewood Lodge in Burnley.
Judge Woolman said: “In February and March of this year discrepancies emerged in the accounts.
“The fraud involved falsifying cashbooks by entering bogus expenditures. In one instance, £170 was taken out but only £80 was recorded in the cashbook.
“In total there were more than 270 transactions of this kind over the months relating to eight victims.
“It went on for a long time because you (Storer) had a serious gambling addiction, and because of inadequate checks and audits from your employers.”
Mr Richard Taylor (defending) had earlier told the court that Storer had voluntarily handed himself in to the police before the crimes were reported.
He had expressed genuine remorse and was trying to put matters right, including selling his house.
The judge accepted his remorse and said Storer was unlikely to re-offend. A proceeds of crime hearing will be held next year.
DC Mick Smith of Burnley CID said: “Carl Storer is a dishonest individual who abused his position of trust as a care manager to steal from his victims.
“He took advantage of their vulnerability and stole a significant amount of money from them over an 18 month period.
“I am pleased that he has been brought to justice for his actions and has now been sentenced accordingly.”
A spokesman for Alternative Futures Group said: “Our focus has always been, and always will be, on the safety and welfare of service users under our care and supervision.
“We regularly monitor every aspect of our processes and procedures, which led us to identify serious concerns regarding Mr Storer and we immediately took action as a consequence.
“We condemn the actions of Mr Storer, who abused his position of trust and responsibility, causing distress to service users, their families and fellow work colleagues.
“While this was an extremely rare and isolated incident, we have carried out a review to understand any lessons that can be learned to protect the people we support.”