Home Gallant Gist JK Rowling’s ex-assistant ordered to repay her £18,734 after fraudulent credit card...

JK Rowling’s ex-assistant ordered to repay her £18,734 after fraudulent credit card use

JK Rowling’s former personal assistant has been ordered to repay £18,734 to the Harry Potter author after fraudulently using her credit card.

The author, 53, accused Amanda Donaldson of making transactions including more than £3,000 in retailer Molton Brown, £2,139 in card shop Paper Tiger and £1,619 in Starbucks and Costa coffee shops on a company credit card without authorisation.

The 35-year-old from Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire was also alleged to have taken Harry Potter merchandise worth £3,213.

Rowling sought damages against her former employee in a civil case brought under the author’s married name, Joanne Murray.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found that Ms Donaldson obtained the money through “fraudulent misrepresentation” after the case was heard at Airdrie Sheriff Court in Scotland.

The defendant, who was dismissed from her job in 2017 over the incident, is now liable to repay Rowling the full amount, £18,734, with interest at 8%.

Image:
Ms Donaldson was accused of taking Harry Potter merchandise worth more than £3,000 – but there was not enough evidence
A statement on behalf of the Harry Potter author said she was “pleased” over the ruling.

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JK Rowling’s former personal assistant has been ordered to repay £18,734 to the Harry Potter author after fraudulently using her credit card.

The author, 53, accused Amanda Donaldson of making transactions including more than £3,000 in retailer Molton Brown, £2,139 in card shop Paper Tiger and £1,619 in Starbucks and Costa coffee shops on a company credit card without authorisation.

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The 35-year-old from Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire was also alleged to have taken Harry Potter merchandise worth £3,213.

Rowling sought damages against her former employee in a civil case brought under the author’s married name, Joanne Murray.

Sheriff Derek O’Carroll found that Ms Donaldson obtained the money through “fraudulent misrepresentation” after the case was heard at Airdrie Sheriff Court in Scotland.

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The defendant, who was dismissed from her job in 2017 over the incident, is now liable to repay Rowling the full amount, £18,734, with interest at 8%.

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Image:
Ms Donaldson was accused of taking Harry Potter merchandise worth more than £3,000 – but there was not enough evidence
A statement on behalf of the Harry Potter author said she was “pleased” over the ruling.

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“From the outset Ms Rowling made it clear that the decision to take this matter to court was a last resort and not for her personal benefit but rather to protect the reputation of her existing staff and to make sure Ms Donaldson is not in a position to breach the trust of another employer.

“Terms of the recovery will be decided in due course and the money owed will be donated to JK Rowling’s charity Lumos,” the statement added.

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Ms Donaldson was also accused of fraudulently obtaining £7,742 of foreign currency and more than £1,500 in cash.

However, the sheriff said there was not enough evidence to prove that Ms Donaldson was responsible for the Harry Potter merchandise going missing.

He described the expenditure on Molton Brown toiletries costing £3,629 as “extraordinary”.

Rowling said she did not ask Ms Donaldson to buy the toiletries when giving evidence during the case.

She explained that her husband is allergic to strong perfumes so she would never buy them for home or office use.

The sheriff said that Rowling gave her evidence in a “thoughtful, considered, measured and accurate, honest and reliable fashion”.

The lawyer representing Ms Donaldson, January Allana Turley, said her client never intended to deceive her employer and believed she was authorised to use the card in the way in which she did.

Mr O’Carroll said he did not find Ms Donaldson to be either “credible or reliable”.

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