A MORAY WOMAN stole from a young boy’s inheritance after being appointed as an administrator of the funds by the Accountant of Court.
Egita Balode, 31, appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court this week where she admitted embezzling £25,920.75 from the trust fund of the primary-aged child.
The court heard that the single mother of two, who moved to Scotland from Latvia seven years ago, was under stress as the sole breadwinner in her home during a time when her salon business was struggling.
She withdrew the money from the boys’ account between August 2013 and December 2014. In her defence solicitor Brent Lockie explained to the court that it was an unusual case in that normally police would expect to find evidence of high spending and a champagne lifestyle.
“But officers went through her bank statements and there was no extravagant transfers,” Mr Lockie told the court, adding: “The money entrusted to her was spent on living and business expenses.”
While Sheriff Ian Anderson said the sum taken was a significant factor that made the accused a candidate for a custodial sentence, he added that due to her status as a single mother with no previous convictions he would stop short at sending her to jail.
He told Balode: “I don’t think an enforced repayment order is appropriate in this case, but from your point of view there is nothing stopping you paying it back on your own accord.”
Balode was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work over the next nine months.