Woman jailed for stealing £120k from grant-making charity

Emma Greeno admitted abusing her position to withdraw funds from the organisation over a seven-year period

Emma Greeno (Photograph: Norfolk Police)
Emma Greeno (Photograph: Norfolk Police)

A former charity clerk has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for defrauding a Norfolk charity of £120,000 over several years.

Emma Greeno, 44 and of Westfield, Norfolk, was sentenced last week at Norwich Crown Court after previously admitting fraud by abuse of position.

The court heard that Greeno worked as a clerk for the Pentney Charity Trust, near King’s Lynn, which gives grants to help people in the village that bears its name.

Greeno abused her position and responsibilities within the charity to withdraw a number of payments from its bank account between 2011 and 2018, the court was told. 

On 19 July 2018, a trustee of Pentney Charity Trust was contacted by the Charities Official Investment Fund regarding an application to withdraw a sum of money from the Pentney Charity Fund.

The trustee questioned the application with the COIF, claiming payments should never be withdrawn from the account. 

Further suspicions forced a review of the charity’s bank statement, which prompted a trustee to contact Greeno and ask for explanation. 

The 44-year-old said the application was likely to be an error and claimed to have filled in the wrong form.

On 5 September 2018, Greeno requested a meeting with the trustee and admitted that she had used the charity's fund to withdraw approximately £60,000 over a period of three years, after initially claiming to have been blackmailed.

The matter was referred to Norfolk Police and Greeno was arrested at her home address on 26 September 2018. 

She was sentenced to a total of two years and six months in prison.

Detective Constable Andy Flitney said: "I am pleased with this sentence as it reflects the seriousness of Greeno’s crimes and is a positive end to an extensive investigation.

"Greeno used her position within the charity to continually take money from those who needed it the most.”

A Pentney Charity statement said: "The trustees of The Pentney Charity have journeyed through a difficult 20 months since the discovery of the financial irregularities occasioned by the action of the then-clerk to the charity.”

“The charity has been able to carry on its day-to-day work in supporting those in need in the village of Pentney and, although certain projects within the village had to wait for the support the charity had promised, these have now all been honoured.”

According to the Charity Commission, the charity’s income up until March this year was just under £11,000.

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