Sunderland charity £450,000 fraud trio jailed

Image source, Northumbria Police handout
Image caption,
The fraud perpetrated by Kym Norman, Paula Bolan and Joanne Mounter had a "damaging impact", police said

Three people who defrauded a charity of more than £450,000 have been jailed.

The fraud contributed to Team Wearside's closure with the loss of 23 jobs, Northumbria Police said.

Det Sgt Jane Bowran said former employees Joanne Mounter, 47, from Crook, Paula Bolan, 45, from Gateshead, and Kym Norman, 53, from Sunderland, had "abused their position of trust".

All three pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court to defrauding the charity, which assisted jobseekers.

The Sunderland-based organisation charity also helped people get training and qualifications.

Mounter, of Minister Court in Willington, and Bolan, of Lonsdale in Birtley, had falsified learning records to claim funding from the Skills Funding Agency, via Sunderland College, and another charity, Springboard, police said.

They were both sentenced to four years and four months in prison.

Norman, of Stratford Avenue, Grangetown, was jailed for two years and four months for his part in the fraud.

Sunderland College and Springboard said they were "shocked" and "deeply disappointed" to have been deceived.

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