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Woman avoids jail after defrauding military charity

Winchester Court Centre (Image courtesy of Geograph.org)Winchester Court Centre (Image courtesy of Geograph.org)A Marlborough woman has been sentenced to 13 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position and theft by employee.

Chantelle Maye, aged 36, who was living in Durley at the time of her arrest, appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Monday, April 28.

The court heard Maye defrauded the British Forces Foundation – a Pewsey-based charity supporting serving members of the Armed Forces – out of more than £13,000 and pleaded not guilty to theft of a further £12,000 while she worked for them as a bookkeeper.

Detective constable Debbie Hatch of Wiltshire Police said: “This sentence is the result of a lengthy investigation which began after concerns were raised following a routine check by the charity back in 2012.

“With the support of the charity, we have successfully investigated Maye’s activity and the sentencing is a result of that investigation.

“Maye’s offending stretches back to the very beginning of her career with the charity in 2011, when she lied about her qualifications in order to gain a position as a book keeper.

“While in this position, she gained the respect and trust of those who worked alongside her.

"However, instead of carrying out the job expected of a book keeper, she stole more than £12,000 from the charity, abusing her position of trust in a despicable manner for her own financial gain.

“I hope this case highlights the fact that Wiltshire Police is determined to bring those who commit offences such as fraud and theft, while in a position of trust, to justice.”

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