University manager sentenced to 20 months for fraud

From BBC News:


Police said Cleary had “completely abused the trust placed in him”

A manager who admitted embezzling more than £30,000 from the University of Manchester to fund a “drug and alcohol addiction” has been jailed.

James Cleary’s actions came to light in 2011, after he had left the university, when his former department found a bill could not be paid due to lack of funds.

Police said he had paid himself £31,984 by signing off on false claims made under the name Michelle Roberts.

Cleary was sentenced to 20 months in prison at Manchester Crown Court.

The 40-year-old, who had worked for the university in a variety of positions for 14 years, was employed as a research business manager in the School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences at the time of the fraud.

Abused trust

Police said Cleary, of Melmerby Court in Salford, had signed off on 25 claims made by a Michelle Roberts over a three-and-a-half year period.

After being alerted to the missing funds by the university, officers discovered Roberts had the same bank details as Cleary, leading to his arrest.

Det Con Dom Brady said Cleary had “completely abused the trust the university placed in him”.

“He admitted during interview he had a drug and alcohol addiction that he needed to fund, and freely volunteered he spent some of the embezzled cash on Blackberry mobile phones and computer,” he said.

“However, he did express remorse and I am sure now that he has been jailed he is even more sorry for his actions.”

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