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Inverness embezzler who took more than £220,000 waits on sentence

By Staff Reporter

Inverness Sheriff Court.
Inverness Sheriff Court.

A BOOKKEEPER who embezzled more than £200,000 while working in Inverness has blamed gambling and drinking problems.

Matthew Varley (44) was employed as a senior bookkeeper in September 2010. He used fictitious invoices to cover his tracks as he siphoned cash from seven client accounts.

Varley, of Cranmore Drive, Smithton, admitted that between September 6, 2010 and June 11, 2015 at CKD Galbraith, Old Edinburgh Road, he embezzled £221,336.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard when the offence came to light Varley said he had a property in London which he would sell to clear the debt. The money has since been repaid in full.

Depute fiscal Robert Weir said: “During his employment, the accused was responsible for book keeping of around a dozen sporting and hunting estates and had access to clients’ bank accounts.

“The accused had sole authority for bank accounts to six estates and it was these estates that were embezzled.”

Varley, he said, transferred the money in 106 transactions between October 3, 2011 and June 11, 2015. Discrepancies came to light after he left in June 2015.

When Varley was challenged in August 2015 he visited CKD Galbraith, admitted the theft and attributed it to his “gambling and drinking problems as well as depression.”

Sheriff David Sutherland deferred sentence until April 9 for reports.

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