Club steward caught in cash-in-hand scam
A 65-YEAR-OLD steward forged time sheets at his social club so he could pay temporary employees cash in hand, a court heard.
Shaun Mullan was working as a steward at the Patchway Sports & Social Club in Coniston Road when he submitted nine time sheets between July 2010 and November 2011 to the club treasurer under the name of Christina Rogers.
But an investigation at the club revealed that Christina Rogers – who had no knowledge of the scam – had not worked at the club for two years.
Mullan, of Coniston Road, pleaded guilty to a charge of forgery at Bristol Crown Court relating to time sheets totalling £4,367.60.
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Christopher Smyth, prosecuting, said Mullan had been a steward at the social club for 24 years and had complete responsibility for organising the staff that worked behind the bar and how they were paid.
"The defendant would submit time sheets to the treasurer who would provide cash to be distributed to the staff," Mr Smyth said.
"He submitted time sheets in the name of Christina Rogers who had not worked at the club for two years – so was in fact fictitious."
Mr Smyth said Mullan had pleaded guilty on the basis that he needed cash in hand because demand for staff varied and being able to pay cash helped encourage people to work when they might otherwise not.
"Because the chairman and treasurer were removed from the club they had no idea who was due or getting the money," Mr Smyth added.
"The situation came to light when there was an argument between staff about who was getting particular rates to work and a member of staff noticed that Christina Rogers had the benefit of a time sheet."
On his arrest Mullan admitted what he had done and offered an apology to Christina Rogers.
He later gave a "no comment" interview because although he admitted forging the time sheets he denied keeping the money for himself.
Mr Smyth said: "The prosecution can not say the defendant was pocketing the money and can not prove there were people behind the bar who were not being paid with the cash."
He added that until now Mullan was a man of good character.
James Tucker, defending, said the only reason the matter had been initially contested was because his client absolutely denied keeping the money for himself.
"He would have pleaded guilty to forgery immediately and may even have received a caution," he said.
Judge Julian Lambert told Mullan it was sad he had blemished his record after 65 years.
Mullan was given a 12-month community order with 130 hours unpaid work.