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CAB scam case 'flabbergasting'.

Byline: SARA THOMAS

A CHARITY boss has told how he was flabbergasted to discover a couple running a tiny Citizens' Advice Bureau office had claimed pounds 76,000 in expenses.

Dale Foster, 64, and wife Sally, 49, of Trawler Road, Swansea are accused of looting up to pounds 650,000 from the modest CAB office in Ammanford.

The couple is accused of secretly siphoning off cash to fund a luxury lifestyle of champagne, top hotels and lavish holidays and breaks, Swansea Crown Court has heard.

The couple's alleged outgoings include a pounds 17,000 ski trip to the Whistler resort in Canada, a stay at the Ritz and shopping trips to

Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

The couple together ran the town's bureau in Iscennen Road, which was largely staffed by unpaid volunteers.

Geraint Walters, prosecuting, said yesterday the couple had set up a series of secret bank accounts into which they transferred bureau cash to fund their spending spree.

The scam came to light when the couple both suddenly quit work over Easter 2006, allegedly because they knew the scam was unwinding, Mr Walters claimed.

The couple is on trial accused of 11 counts of theft and five counts of false accounting over five years until Easter 2006, all of which they deny.

Steven Bell, a local solicitor and chairman of the town CAB's board of trustees, yesterday told how he started investigating the office accounts.

He said he found invoices charged to the bureau for training "which were basically little more than pieces of paper with 'Sally and Dale to London' written on them." Mr Walters said the couple's expenses claim of pounds 76,000 was an agreed figure by both the defence and prosecution.

"As chairman of the board of trustees is there anything you want to say about that?" he asked Mr Bell.

He replied: "That I am totally flabbergasted by the figure. It is way beyond anyone's wildest dreams."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 17, 2009
Words:323
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