A former council worker has been jailed for 12 months after fraudulently selling almost 200 mobile phones purchased for local authority employees.
Nicola Williamson ordered 196 handsets from Vodafone and sold them to mobile recycling company Mazuma Mobile, pocketing nearly £40,000 in the process.
Yesterday, the 47-year-old appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court for sentencing after she admitted to committing the fraud between June 15, 2012 and December 11, 2013.
Williamson had worked for the council for 28 years and, at the time of the offence, was a senior analyst.
Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell said Williamson had access to online ordering of mobile devices as part of her role.
She logged into the council’s online Vodafone account which included a “credit fund”, providing free phones to customers without generating an invoice.
The court heard the credit fund stood at £200,000 and the mobile phone company made its money through use of the phones once they were activated.
Williamson logged into the account, both at work and at home, and had the phones delivered to the council’s office.
She then sold them to Mazuma Mobile from her home in West Cairncry Road.
But Miss Mitchell said Vodafone spotted unusual activity on the council account.
Williamson admitted the offence to her employer and was subsequently sacked for gross misconduct.
In April 2014, Williamson sold her property and moved to Cyprus to stay with her parents. She was arrested at Heathrow Airport while travelling back to Aberdeen.
But the court heard that the council did not lose any money because of the credit account.
Williamson’s solicitor, Mike Monro said there was no cost to the council or the tax payer.
But Sheriff Graeme Buchanan said: “This was a gross breach of trust”. He ruled that, given her lack off an address in the UK, a community work order would not be appropriate.
Williamson was given a 12-month sentence, backdated to January 26, when she was remanded in custody.