The learning disability charity Mencap faces losing more than £30,000 after a worker in one of its shops mistakenly deposited more than £90,000 into the bank account of a woman who had asked for a refund.
The woman, Comfort Konadu, 52, of Openshaw, Manchester, has been handed a suspended prison sentence for trying to keep the money.
Two shop workers have been dismissed by the charity over the incident, although there is nothing to suggest they had any association with Konadu.
In October last year, Konadu returned an item to the Mencap store in Openshaw, but an error led to her being refunded £90,047.18.
Rather than tell the charity or the bank what had happened, Konadu began moving the money to other bank accounts, ultimately transferring £57,000.
She pled guilty to one charge of theft at Manchester Crown Court and was this week handed a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Although the bank was able to freeze and retrieve most of the money after the mistake was spotted, the charity has still lost out on £31,598.
A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Royal Mencap Society is grateful to the Greater Manchester Police for pursuing this case and for their continued attempts to recover the stolen funds.
“We remain hopeful that the stolen funds can be recovered so that they can be used to help change the lives of people with a learning disability.”
A proceeds of crime hearing will be held in December as part of the efforts to recover the remaining money.