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Scots hit out at “ridiculously low sentence” of island fraudster who hatched £1.5m cheque scheme

SCOTS have hit out at the “ridiculously low sentence” that was handed to a fraudster who hatched a £1.5 million cheque scheme.

Hundreds of people have criticised the “laughable” two-year sentence that was dealt to Lisa Groundwater at Kirkwall Sheriff Court in Orkney last week.

Groundwater pleaded guilty to the scam which took place over a nine week period between January and March 2019.

The 38-year-old managed to deposit five hefty cheques at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in Kirkwall, amounting to £1,527,050.

Lisa Groundwater, 38.
Lisa Groundwater, 38. (C). Police Scotland

The jailed fraudster had led banks to believe that she had sufficient funds in different bank accounts belonging to her and her husband’s name.

Groundwater was jailed for two years for the incidents which saw RBS unable to recover just over £485,000 of the cash.

Scots have since hit out at the “ridiculous” sentence after police announced the decision on social media on Friday.

Highlands and Islands Police said: “A 38-year-old woman, from Orkney has been sentenced to two years in prison after committing fraud with a total value of £1.5 million.

“Lisa Groundwater appeared at Kirkwall Sheriff Court on Wednesday, 16 March and was sentenced to two years imprisonment for the incidents which occurred in Kirkwall between January 2019 and March 2019 after pleading guilty at an earlier date.”

Detective Sergeant Marcus Shearer said: “We welcome the sentencing of Lisa Groundwater.

“There are a number of victims to the crime’s with some having lost substantial amounts of money.

“We are thankful to the witnesses that have come forward and reported these incidents as this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“Groundwater’s sentence sends a clear message to those acting in such a manner that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

“We are fully committed to bringing offenders to justice to further safeguard our communities.”

Almost 400 people have commented on the police statement on Facebook, with most calling for tougher sentencing.

Kirkwall RBS where Groundwater deposited the cheques.
Kirkwall RBS where Groundwater deposited the cheques. (C). Google

Shona Hardie said: “Well done Police Scotland.

“Shame on the Judge for handing down a ridiculously low sentence.”

Susan Burns said: “Not nearly long enough in my opinion.

“How many lives has she destroyed with this fraud?

“Police bust a gut getting the evidence to convict, then she gets a paltry two years.”

Dave Stevens said: “Two years for £1.5 million and she will be out on tag within a year, more than likely.

“The amount of people who will be reading this and thinking of becoming a fraudster.

“This is more an advertisement, than a ‘well done’ to justice.”

Ian Wilson said: “Ridiculous sentence all thanks to the high and mighty SNP.

“The justice system in this country stinks.

“All the government seems to want to do is get criminals back on the streets ASAP.

“They have absolutely no consideration for the victims of crime.

“The sooner they are gone the better.”

And Pauline Bowling: What is the Scottish Government thinking?

“Time that punishment fit the crime.

“If it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable.

“And they say crime doesn’t pay.

“Yeah right.

“What happened to the money?”

Fraud is the only crime category to have experienced an increase over the past ten years in Scotland, according to the Scottish Government.

Since 2011-2012 statistics were published, there has been a 69% increase.

Almost 60% of fraud in Scotland is now classed as cyber-fraud.

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