Mencap fraudster avoids jail after Crown Court guilty plea

Asra Yildiz, 32, of Hackney in London, was sentenced to three months, suspended for 18 months, after admitting fraudulently spending more than £34,000 on a company credit card

Blackfriars Crown Court
Blackfriars Crown Court

A former personal assistant to the chief executive of the learning disability charity Mencap has avoided jail despite pleading guilty to a £34,000 fraud.

Asra Yildiz, 32, from Hackney, east London, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday to three months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

Yildiz, who was employed by the charity from 2011 until her dismissal in 2014 when the allegations came to light, was the PA to Mark Goldring, who left Mencap in 2013 to become chief executive of Oxfam, and his successor, Jan Tregelles.

Yildiz fraudulently spent £34,768.20 using a company credit card between 18 November 2012 and 29 April 2014.

She had originally pleaded not guilty to the offence, but changed her plea at a hearing on 20 October.

A spokesman for Mencap said the organisation was "deeply saddened" by the fraud.

"Asra Yildiz was in a position of trust, a position that she abused, falsifying expenses and other claims for personal gain," he said.

"Mencap has reviewed the robustness of its oversight systems as a result of this incident and wants to reassure its donors and supporters that all steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence."

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