Southend charity worker who stole £187,000 from his employer is jailed for six years

Charity finance worker who stole £187,000 from his employer is jailed for six years

A WORKER who stole almost £200,000 from charity has been jailed for six years despite claiming he owed money for unpaid overtime.

Stephen Osborne, of Ilfracombe Avenue, Southendstolen £187,923, from the disability charity Vibrance, based in Southend and Bethnal Green.

After being sacked, the 43-year-old father-of-two stole a further £25,107 from a London-based recruitment firm.

At Basildon Crown Court on Friday, he was jailed for six years after being found guilty of three counts of fraud.

At the charity, he used a colleague’s card and PIN to authorize payments to his own bank account, using fake payment details.

Osbourne then stole cash for tax refunds for recruiting firm workers after he was sacked from the charity for fraud.

None of the money has been refunded and recorder Oliver Cambell told her the loss had had a ‘serious impact’ on the charity which helps people with disabilities.

Mitigating Ronnie Bergenthal said: ‘There was no evidence of an extravagant lifestyle of his ill-gotten gains. He was trying to keep his head above water and greed won out.

“The offenses are fairly close together in time. We say there has been a medium impact on the business and the charity.

Sentencing Osborne at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, recorder Oliver Cambell told him he had been dishonest during the trial.

He said: ‘Between 2014 and 2019 you committed fraud against the charity Vibrance, you stole £26,767 and then took £161,162.48. A high level of trust was placed in you and you used another woman’s card and PIN.

“You provided dishonest evidence about this during the trial and bypassed the security system to authorize the payments.

“You tried to tell the jury that your card was damaged and that these payments were authorized by officials, but the payments were not agreed upon.”

He said Osborne broke the trust placed in him and committed the offenses over an extended period.

He added: “At Tempest Resourcing, you were in a position of trust again and clients had vacations and were due to receive tax refunds, but you stole that money.