An infatuated account manager at a Blackpool solicitors is facing jail after she stole more than £500,000 to send to a man she met on an internet dating site.
Besotted Pam Wareing, 54, stole the cash from a client account at Easthams on Church Street and transferred it into a bank in Dubai, Blackpool Magistrates was told.
She thought she was sending the money to her new online love who said he was an American serviceman – calling himself Carlos Lopez – who had promised to set up home with her and marry her.
Using her post as contracts manager she made £529,473.40 in cash transactions over a 46-day period.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said: “She faces up to six years imprisonment.”
Wareing, a mother-of-one from Brompton Road, Poulton, admitted the theft when she appeared before magistrates in Blackpool on Friday.
The money was taken from Easthams solicitors, of Church Street, Blackpool where she had worked for more than 20 years.
The firm specialises in personal injury and conveyancy work. Representatives of the firm were present at court to watch Wareing in the dock.
Magistrates decided the case involved too much money for them to sentence her and sent the case to Preston Crown Court.
Wareing met what turned out to be an internet conman after she and her husband parted.
He claimed to have been a member of the USA forces and had served in Afghanistan.
The money was in the Dubai account for just seconds before it was moved elsewhere in automated transactions.
Pam Smith, prosecuting, said that Wareing had betrayed a “high position of trust at the office where she worked.”
Her lawyer Brett Chappell told the court: “This is a tragedy for all concerned - my client and her employer.
“She accepted her culpability during long interviews at the police station. She was preyed on by a scam artist and was as much a victim as Easthams.”
John Bower, a solicitor and director at Easthams, confirmed Wareing had been employed as the company’s head cashier and had been with the firm for more than 20 years
The company continues to co-operate with the police and the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
He said: “Investigations are still ongoing.
“We are very much the victims of this crime.
“There has been no loss to any client.
“We are content to let the matter proceed through the judicial process.”