On the 5th of February, the BBC had reported that a woman, Patricia Reilly,  had fallen victim to an email scam and was being sued by her ex-employers for £200,000.

What happened?

Timeline of the events:

9th of October, 2015

Yvonne Bremmer, the director of Peebles, had left the office to go on a week long holiday. Before she left, she claims that she had told Ms. Reilly and her line manager that there were no payments to be made to any companies.

Later the same day, Patricia Reilley had received an email from “Yvonne Bremmer” requesting for £24,800 to be transferred to another company.

She liaised with her line manager (Ms. Morris), who then made the payment.

12th of October, 2015

She received another email claiming to be from Ms Yammer, which asked her for a further payment of £75,000. Due to Ms Yammer and her line manager being on holiday, Ms. Reilly went ahead and made the payment herself.

A few days after this, another employee Rosemary Morris  logged onto the firm’s bank account and had noticed fraud warnings. She then showed Ms. Reilly and called Ms Yammer to let her know what had happened.

On Ms. Yammers return, Ms. Reilly was eventually dismissed due to her actions.

They claimed that:

“had Mrs Reilly fulfilled the duties to which she owed the pursuer, the payments to the fraudster “would never have been made” and the pursuer “would not have suffered the loss, injury and damage” incurred in the fraud.”

5th of February, 2019

Peebles Media Group decided to pursue legal action against Ms. Reilly and are wanting to sue her for the outstanding amount of £107,984, which they were unable  claim back from the bank.

Lawyers for Peebles claim Mrs Reilly’s actions were “careless and in breach of the duties, including the duty to exercise reasonable care in the course of the performance of her duties as an employee, which she owed to her employer, the pursuer.”

15th of November, 2019

The BBC have released an update on what occurred at Scotland’s highest civil court.

It came out that allegedly Ms. Reilly had ignored a series of warnings from the bankers about con artists tricking employees into making payments to companies.

As part of her defence, Ms. Reilly had claimed that her employer had contributed to the loss by not providing training on identifying fraud.

The judge, Lord summers ended up ruling in Ms. Reilly’s favour and stated:

“The fraudster is the real culprit whoever he or she (or possibly they) may be.”

In Lord Summers ruling, he wrote that Ms. Reilly had fallen victim to a whaling fraud.