Aviator worker raided tips to fund 'party lifestyle'By Tim Harris
March 22, 2013
A HOTEL worker stole thousands of pounds from her employer using a special fund that she was in charge of.
Rebecca Levy took a total of £3,260 from the Aviator Hotel Gratuities Fund, during the time she worked at the Farnborough premises.
Levy, 37, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft by employee, at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on March 14.
She stole two amounts of money from the fund – £2,360 over a period in December 2011, and £900 in March last year.
Serena Edwards, prosecuting, told the court this was a ‘breach of trust’ by Levy, who worked at the Farnborough Road hotel as a facilities and events manager for two years.
As part of the defendant’s role she was responsible for the Aviator Gratuities Fund, into which all the hotel tips are paid, held, and then handed out to members of staff.
Miss Edwards said concerns had been raised over the account and when Levy was asked to produce spreadsheets for the fund, she made several excuses why she could not provide this information for the management.
The defendant resigned shortly after her failure to produce the spreadsheets.
It was Levy’s successor, Nathan Unwin, who found cheques made out to the defendant.
“It became clear from looking at the statements of the account the cheques made by the defendant were of excessive amounts,” said Miss Edwards.
Police were called to the hotel and told the suspect was a former member of staff. Levy’s private bank account was also checked.
Miss Edwards described how Levy, of Bramshott Place, in Fleet, confessed her actions to another member of staff, who encouraged her to write a letter to the management at the hotel to explain.
When interviewed by police, Levy was tearful and admitted the crime. She said she had been working many hours a week and was also living a ‘party lifestyle’. She said she began taking speed, which was costing her money.
She described it as a ‘temptation’ to take the money, to fund her habits. Levy, who now works as a duty manager in a pub, said she has been clean from drugs since leaving the Aviator.
Kevin Izod, defending, stressed the offences occurred over two short periods and the investigation prompted Levy to write to her former managers.
“She did not want any other person to be blamed for this,” he said. “She accepted her actions. The lifestyle made her deceitful towards her funds and she did some things she is ashamed of.
“She was entitled to some of the money that she took. Five or 10% of that sum, roughly.”
Chairman of the court Michael Cadge ordered Levy to complete an 18-month community order of 300 hours’ unpaid work, to pay £3,260 compensation and court costs of £85.
Mr Cadge told Levy: “You are quite well aware of the gravity of this. We could have been sending you to prison today. We do believe you are sorry for what you did.”