Charity accountant avoids jail for embezzling £200k


Lynn Taylor was the financial manager of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society

25th August 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

A charity accountant who embezzled more than £200,000 has avoided jail.

Lynn Taylor swindled £220,331 from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society between 2008 and 2015.

Having previously pleaded guilty to a charge of embezzlement, Taylor returned to Edinburgh Sheriff Court for sentencing this week.

The court heard that the crime was discovered in early 2015 when the society brought in an outside company to setup a new pension scheme.

Cash taken was repaid shortly afterwards, with Taylor also providing £40,000 to pay for costs incurred by the charity.

Sentencing, Sheriff Frank Crowe said that Taylor had suffered ill health, but this was not an excuse for the embezzlement which had funded an extravagant lifestyle.

He said: “As some explanation for your behaviour I was advised your counsel that you had been badly affected by the death of your brother and other close family members and had been concerned at your daughter’s health.

“It does appear however that much of the money embezzled was used by you in the owning of horses and participating in show jumping activities.

“I was also advised that you consider you made repayment of £10,000 more than you consider you took but that this is evidence of your wish to resolve matters with your former employers once your criminal actions had come to light.

“To enable prompt repayment of the amount sought I understand that your family home which was owned jointly with your husband was sold.

“I have seen evidence that you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and have been found after tests to have been significantly clinically depressed.”

Sheriff Crowe said that Taylor would be subject to an eight-month restriction of liberty order, and that she would have to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

4th September 2017 by Sharon

The responsibility for the financial governance of the charity remains with the trustees - who are they? What is being done about them for allowing this to happen?