Cheating Pair Tried to Con Charities; Crooks Made Up Names of Their 'Donors'

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Caroe

THESE crooks were exposed after cheating charities out of thousands of pounds.

Armed with application forms, Kathryn Ashcroft and Gregory Cameron were supposed to be knocking on doors to sign up householders wanting to donate towards charity.

But instead the pair, who worked for Marketing North East and were paid commission for each application, resorted to making up names and addresses, pretending to sign up scores more donors.

Ashcroft, 29, had submitted 21 incorrect forms while 24-year-old Cameron sent in 42 applications that were found to be made up.

Charities that were set to gain from their work included the RSPCA.

In total the thieves, who both pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation, received pounds 3,233 and pounds 4,399 respectively from their employer.

Newcastle Magistrates heard yesterday that the pair were only caught out when the banks refused to set up the direct debits and sent out an attention report to their employer, Gary Lewis.

Becky Gibson, prosecuting, said: "Mr Lewis was alerted that two of his staff had a number of forms that were submitted, but rejected due to false details.

"When Mr Lewis received the report, he rang around all the numbers on each of Miss Ashcroft's forms to ascertain if the householders had subscribed to the charity on the form.

"He discovered that every number was invalid. …