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Swindled, Sacked and Sued

Peebles Media Group has launched legal action against an ex-employee, Patricia Reilly after she was conned into making online payments of nearly £200,000 to a fraudulent company.

In 2015, Ms Reilly was working in the accounts department of Peebles Media, when she received an email which claimed to be from a managing director of the company. Ms Reilly liaised with her line manager who agreed to complete the online payment of £24,800 to the fraudulent company. Subsequently, 3 more online payments were made totalling £193,250, before discovering the emails were bogus. Ms Reilly was later sacked for gross misconduct and lost her appeal.

Ms Reilly did initiate legal proceedings in 2016 against Peebles Media for unfair dismissal, however, could not pursue the matter due to personal reasons.

Peebles Media was able to recover £85,265.68 from its banks but, is currently seeking to make up the remaining monies in court. Reilly has always expressed that she was not provided with training for detecting fraud, however, Peeble argued Reilly ticked a box to confirm she had read a warning about fraud. Also, arguing that, “the suspicious nature of the circumstances which presented themselves to the Defendant did not depend for their identification upon specialist training or the like, but rather simply upon the use of ordinary care, and indeed, common sense”.

The civil case has begun and looks to be a landmark case legal action.