Northamptonshire bookkeeper who stole £150k from Scottish chippy pleads guilty to embezzlement charges

Susan Lilly
Susan Lilly

A Northamptonshire bookkeeper is facing jail after embezzling £200,000 from a health company and one of Scotland's best-known fish and chip shops.

Jenny Lilly siphoned off £150,000 from the award-winning chippy, The Real Food Cafe, in Tyndrum, West Perthshire, while employed as a bookkeeper there between May 2011 and November 2015.

She also embezzled £50,000 between January 2015 and April 2016 while keeping financial records at Later Life Training, in Killin, West Perthshire - a not-for-profit provider of specialist exercise training for health and exercise professionals.

At Stirling Sheriff Court on August 8, 45-year-old Lilly, now of Brackley, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to two charges of alleged embezzlement.

Her not guilty plea to a third charge – embezzling £5,039 between July and the end of September 2016 while keeping the books for the Strathfillan Community Development Trust, based at Tyndrum Village Hall – was accepted by the prosecution.

Prosecutor Kyrsten Buist said the plea had been agreed with Lilly's lawyer the day before the hearing and an agreed narration of the facts was still to be prepared.

Sheriff William Gilchrist deferred sentence for a criminal justice social work report and continued bail.

He ordered Lilly, of 15 Beech Drive, Brackley, to reappear in court on September 19 when she will also face action under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover her ill-gotten gains.

This year the Real Food Cafe was listed as one of Great Britain's "top 60" chippies in the National Fish and Chip Awards.

Last year, the popular walkers haunt on the Road to the Isles was a winner in the Scottish Food Awards and Scotland's Taste Our Best Awards.

The Strathfillan Community Development Trust, an offshoot of Strathfillan Community Council, carries out community projects in the Tyndrum/Crianlarich locality.