Admin assistant ‘has spent £500,000’ embezzled from college

Afsha Rana, 34, purchased electronic devices using City of Glasgow College bank accounts before selling them on.

Admin assistant ‘has spent £500,000’ embezzled from college SNS Group

A shamed college admin assistant who embezzled £500,000 has told a court that she has spent all the money.

Afsha Rana, 34, purchased electronic devices using City of Glasgow College bank accounts before selling them on for personal profit.

Rana doctored spreadsheets and changed purchase order information to carry out the scheme between March 2015 and April 2019.

Rana was also spotted on the college’s CCTV leaving with some of her loot in a suitcase.

It was claimed by her lawyer that she gave all the cash to friends.

On Friday, the first offender pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to embezzlement.

The court heard Rana was employed as an operations admin assistant in the IT department in March 2015.

Prosecutor Alasdair Knox said: “Rana acted in a deliberate manner to defraud her employer by ordering IT equipment.

“She used deceptive measures to conceal this and thereafter sell the equipment for her personal profit.

“In a position trust, she ordered and took possession of 334 computing devices which cannot be accounted for in the college.

“The total value of equipment which is unaccounted for is £500,000 and the college have paid their suppliers for these items.

“During this period, she sold 176 devices to Cash Converters in Glasgow and received payment of £255,200.

“Additional devices were sold to other retailers for Rana’s personal profit.”

The offences came to light following an IT report which highlighted unusual purchases by the college.

Staff became suspicious as Rana had changed information on purchase orders and some had been deleted from the system which sparked an investigation.

Officers were told by staff at Cash Convertors that Rana was a known customer of theirs.

They stated Rana told them the equipment had come from her brother who had purchased laptops in Dubai and refurbished them.

Checks has been carried out on the devices to verify they had not been stolen.

Mr Knox added: “There is CCTV footage of Rana leaving on workdays with a large suitcase which would be unusual for a normal day at work.

“There is additional CCTV footage of Rana leaving the college in possession of a bag containing Apple products.”

Police raided Rana’s home and recovered a Mac laptop, an iPad and other computer equipment.

The college ran software to notify users of the stolen laptops that they belonged to them.

Police were contacted by numerous people across the country to say they had purchased the devices on Amazon from an account run by Cash Convertors.

Mr Knox said: “She made cash deposits of £83,597 into her bank account during the period she was selling the stolen devices for cash at Cash Convertors.

“She transferred the money to other bank accounts held in her name between November 2016 and December 2019.

“The money had been transferred to accounts in Rana’s name.”

Rana was suspended from her employment in April 2019, which has since been terminated.

John Kilcoyne, defending, told the court that Rana recently quit her latest job as a data input clerk.

The lawyer added: “She squandered all the money and gave it to friends, it’s all away.

“She said there is a man in London that she doesn’t want her family to know about, she doesn’t have the money. She appears to have spent it.”

Sentence was deferred until next month for background reports by Sheriff Tony Kelly, who remanded Rana in custody meantime.

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