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Portadown woman admits conning employers out of more than £200,000

Lisa McGuckin
Lisa McGuckin

A Portadown woman has admitted abusing positions of trust with two different employers to defraud more than £200,000.

At Craigavon Crown Court on Friday, defence counsel Jonathan Browne asked for two of the three charges to be out to Lisa Marie McGuckin again.

Standing in the dock 45-year-old McGuckin, from Rose Cottages in Portadown, entered guilty pleas to two counts of fraud by abuse of positions in that between September 15, 2011 and July 11, 2019, she defrauded £203,498 from her employers at Cots and Tots Ltd by transferring the cash out of their account and she defrauded the Drumcree Community Trust by transferring £1,918 from their account to hers.

Following her admissions, prosecuting counsel Ian Tannahill asked for the third charge, alleging that McGuckin abused her position at Orchard Services Ltd by sending a memorandum to companies house naming herself as a director of the company when she was not, to be left on the books.

“The gravamen is clearly on counts one and two,” he told the court.

Applying for sentencing to be adjourned to allow time for a pre-sentence probation report to be compiled, Mr Browne said he would also be lodging a psychiatric report once his solicitor Owen Beattie had received authority from the Legal Services Commission.

He told the court while “there is significant personal mitigation and circumstances in the case,” the barrister also applied for the fraudster to be freed on bail but “she understands that in no way reflects what the ultimate outcome will be”.

Adjourning the case to February 2, Judge Patrick Lynch KC freed McGuckin on bail and advised her to “cooperate fully” with probation when they come to interview her for the pre-sentence report.

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