A former Clifford Chance secretary has been jailed for 15 months for fraud after pilfering over £23,000 from the firm.

Between 2007 and 2009, Judie Groom was the secretary to two construction partners at the firm. She used her position to take advantage of the corporate credit cards with which she was entrusted, according to a report in Legal Week. As well as booking them into Travelodges and paying for their taxis, she decided to treat herself to some new threads, a couple of nice holidays and some foreign cash.

    Groom turning up to work, how it might have looked

Groom was eventually rumbled after submitting false expenses claims. She tried to wriggle out of her pickle by blaming a fellow secretary, but her deflection attempts were unsuccessful and she was dragged before Snaresbrook Crown Court. Groom pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and was sentenced to 15 months.

A spokeswoman for Clifford Chance said that "Jodie Groom's frauds were detected via our own internal checks" and "since then, Clifford Chance has made a number of changes to its internal expenses procedures". Which sounds like a sensible plan in the circumstances.

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