Young mom Carly Flockhart, 29, began gambling online after her partner, William Reid, drowned in 2007. During this time, she accumulated a debt of more than £120,000 of debt and lost her home. For more than two years, Flockhart stole £66,000 from the cleaning supplies company, WC Supplies, where she was director and secretary.
The theft was discovered after the company noticed an unpaid invoice for £2,400 that froze their bank account. Colleagues say they felt betrayed after going more than a year without pay to keep the company above water.
Why Did Carly Flockhart Steal from Her Own Company?
Flockhart began embezzling funds from her company after she fell into debt from Internet gambling. According to a psychiatric report, when Carly Flockhart lost the father of her son, she sought comfort in the excitement of Internet gambling. Carly’s habit caused the loss of her home, and she faces a prison sentence if she fails to pay the £66,514 stolen from her business partner. The theft occurred over a two-year period while she was placed in charge of sales from 2009. Flockhart carried a one-third partnership over WC Supplies.
Karen Smith, the prosecutor, told the Inverness Sheriff’s Court that this was not an elaborate plan with false records. Carly paid money into her own bank account and raised false invoices for covering that amount.
What Happened When Confronted?
When Carly’s business partners confronted her, she broke down and told them about her gambling addiction. Marc Dickson, Flockhart’s attorney, said that Lockhart did work hard to grow the business, but she dealt with a number of personal difficulties that it made it hard for her.
Carly suffered post-natal depression and turned to gambling to fill the loss of her husband. Sheriff Sutherland said he wanted to see the details of Flockhart’s current finances. Sutherland said the priority is to repay a small company that suffered heavy losses from Carly’s gambling addiction. The WC Supplies director, Alan Walker, claimed he went without pay for more than six months to keep the business going. Walker continued in saying that he has two kids and a wife to support, and it was hard for everyone. Flockhart’s gambling habit nearly ruined the company.
Originally, Flockhart was charged with embezzling £100,000 in janitorial supplies from WC supplies. At the city’s sheriff court, Carly Flockhart admitted to embezzling £66,000. Occasionally, Carly made payments to mask the money taken out. At first, Flockhart denied that she had embezzled money. However, she later changed her plea to guilty of embezzling £66,513. Flockhart never repaid the money embezzled and resigned from WC Supplies in 2011. She first appeared in the Inverness Sheriff Court in June 2013 and plead not guilty. However, Marc Dickson said that Carly always admitted to embezzling. The only area that was not clear was how much she had embezzled.
In the psychiatric report, there was no indication of acute mental illness. Nonetheless, Flockhart went through a period of intense emotional upheaval consistent with the loss of her partner, which led her to a gambling addiction. Flockhart’s sentencing has been postponed until August 22, 2014.
Online Gambling Less Addictive Than Reported?
Despite this unique case, a Harvard study with more than 40,000 betters found that the average gambler makes less than five wagers per week. The average wager being just $5.50. Another one of the indications comes from more than two million online poker players. The study revealed that the average poker player spent less than five hours at the virtual poker table in a six month period.
The research revealed that only one to five percent of online gamblers exhibited extreme gambling behavior. This data lines up with the majority of gambling statistics. When it comes to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, they have been designed to lure people in and keep them there. For example, the usage of red in casinos is to make people feel bolder when gambling. This does not happen in virtual casinos. The reality of using an online casino is less seductive than a land-based casino, which means less addiction to gambling.
Carly Flockhart is an example of someone who had something tragic happen to them and turned to the throes of gambling addiction to ease her suffering. However, that does not excuse the actions of Flockhart. The embezzlement of more than £66,000 nearly bankrupted WC Supplies.