Woman jailed after swindling London charity out of over £40,000

A woman from Watford has been jailed for two years after swindling a charity in Harrow out of more than £40,000.

Ruth Hiscock, 37, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position. She had overpaid herself by a total of £40,497.67 over two years from 2013 to 2015 while she was finance officer and centre coordinator at the Harrow Women’s Centre (HWC) in Andrews Close.

The fraud was uncovered when a trustee of the charity realised some staff members had not been paid. One had even gone unpaid for several months.

Bills also went unpaid and Hiscock was suspended, investigated and eventually dismissed.

Detective Constable Phil Moor said: “Hiscock’s selfish actions have had a significant impact on the community and almost resulted in the closure of a much-needed charity.

“Hiscock abused her position of trust, deceived her colleagues, and took advantage of the Harrow Women’s Centre for her own gain for more than two years.

“We would like to thank the board of trustees at HWC for coming to us with this case and for greatly assisting us with the investigation. We wish the charity every success in the future.”

And a statement from Harrow Women’s Centre added: “In her capacity as finance officer and centre coordinator, Ruth had full knowledge and appreciation of the potential consequences of what she was doing and the devastating impact it would have on the HWC and therefore the community at large.

“Nineteen months after the discovery of fraud, which almost forced the closure of the charity, HWC is once again in a position to plan for the future and develop the range of services which Harrow Council described as ‘unique and irreplaceable.’ This significant achievement is the result of a tireless team effort, and reflects our commitment to local women.”

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