A senior finance officer at one of Cambridge’s popular colleges was recently found guilty of embezzling funds amounting to nearly £ 300,000. The money was used to fund her addiction for online bingo in which she lost more than £ 600,000. She has been sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment after she confessed to the crime. She also mentioned that she opened an account with online gambling firm “Jackpotjoy” and spent £ 324,425 of her own savings to feed her thirst for gambling. The accused, Jacqueline Balaam, is a finance officer at Pembroke College and has a respectable social life with two children, but unfortunately she is also an internet gambling addict.
Crimes of the accused
When the police were called in to investigate the case, they found out that she had been robbing the college since 2012 by abusing her position as a purchase ledger clerk by duplicating invoices to transfer money into her own account. She had to make payments to vendors that provided goods and services to the Pembroke College on a weekly basis using the BCAS system. She used this opportunity to duplicate 77 invoices of suppliers that made maximum deliveries. Police stated that besides skimming around £ 285,986.18 from Pembroke College, Jacqueline Balaam had also stolen more than £ 3000 from Girton Social Club where she worked as a voluntary treasurer.
Her husband tried to end his life on hearing of her guilt, but was luckily saved just in time. Jacqueline Balaam’s lawyer, Mark Shelly, requested the judge for a lighter sentence with the argument that she had spent all of the stolen money on her gambling fetish and was addicted to it. But the judge stated that Jacqueline Balaam could have undergone treatment to solve her problem, when she could not control her urge. The fact that continued to steal shows that she is irresponsible too. She deserves the punishment which may make her realize the folly of her actions.