Admin worker jailed for half a million pound construction embezzlement spree
Stephanni Houston, a 39-year-old administrative worker from Ayr, has been sentenced to 38 months in prison for embezzling over £516,000 from two construction companies in a span of four years.
The embezzlement followed a previous conviction at Ayr Sheriff Court where Houston, then known as Bryden, was convicted but avoided jail for defrauding pensioners at Berelands Care Home in Prestwick. In that case, she was mandated to perform 240 hours of unpaid work and repay the £2,425 she had taken from the residents.
The recent crimes involved siphoning £253,281.30 from Kelburne Construction in Kilmarnock and £262,987.68 from WM Donnelly and Co, a heating and plumbing firm in East Kilbride.
Houston’s lavish lifestyle, including driving a top-of-the-range Audi, raised suspicions amongst her colleagues. Despite her previous conviction and a public apology in the Daily Record, Houston showed no respect for authority or her employers by continuing her fraudulent activities.
Prosecutors are now initiating a confiscation hearing to recover the stolen funds.
Peter McClelland, procurator fiscal for North Strathclyde, told the Ayrshire Post: “Embezzlement is not a victimless crime. This was a brazen example of an individual inflicting serious financial harm on two businesses and their customers.
“Stephanni Houston embezzled a significant sum of money. We take such criminality very seriously.”