Manchester Uni Worker Jailed

A man who worked for the University of Manchester has been jailed for 20 months after embezzling more than £30,000.

40-year-old James Cleary from Melmerby Court, Salford, admitted fraud.

While working for the university, Cleary was authorised to sign claims for fees.

Months after he left, an investigation found 25 claims had been authorised by the 40-year-old over a three-and-a-half year period.

£30,025 had been paid out in total, all under the fake name 'Michelle Roberts'.

The investigation found the bank account and sort code numbers on the claim forms matched those belonging to Cleary.

Detective Constable Dom Brady from Greater Manchester Police said:

"Cleary was employed in a position of trust by the University, and was given a lot of responsibility to process claims for reasonably large amounts of money.

"Sadly, he completely abused the trust the University placed in him and defrauded them to the tune of £31,984.

"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.

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

"I would like to praise the staff at the University who have worked very closely with us during this investigation and cooperated fully, which has led to this conviction. I hope this also sends out a message that you should think very carefully before attempting to rip-off your employers as you could be facing a stint behind bars."