September 16, 2009

British postmistress trashed cash

An English postmistress admitted Wednesday that she cooked the books to hide an accident -- throwing thousands of pounds in cash in the trash.

Marissa Finn, 38, in an appearance in Durham Crown Court pleaded guilty to false accounting, The Daily Mail reported. She denied stealing the money.

Finn, who ran the post office in Easington, a village near the coast, told the court she had taken 27,000 pounds ($45,000) to fill the ATM machine. She said she got distracted and decided to empty a bag of trash into the dumpster.

When the bag broke, scattering trash on the post office floor, Finn said she quickly gathered up both the garbage and the money, putting everything into the dumpster together.

She said she didn't contact the rubbish collection company because she panicked and was not thinking straight, Paul Caulfield, the prosecuting lawyer, said.

Caulfield said there is no evidence Finn stole the money, which has been repaid. She was caught when her post office was audited.

Finn was given a six-month suspended sentence and fined 500 pounds ($825).