Samantha Strong, the former treasurer for music festival Kineton Music Festival, has now pleaded guilty to charges of fraud having been accused of defrauding the festival of £23,000. Strong initially pleaded not guilty to the local magistrates at Warwickshire Magistrate’s Court in Leamington, but the case was soon elevated to a higher court, Warwick Crown Court, where Strong reversed her position to plead guilty.
The charges stated that Strong had abused her position as treasurer between November and August 2016 to obtain a disputed amount of £26,532 for personal profit by forging signatures required to obtain a debit court under the music festival’s account and subsequently making personal withdrawals. Strong entered a plea deal on the basis that she had only defrauded the festival of £23,142. That figure is currently in dispute by local authorities and presiding Judge Andrew Lockhart QC.
The prosecution has until July 7th to determine whether they accept that plea deal with a lower fraud amount or whether they’ll take the issue to trial for the full amount. Further charges levied to Strong also included claims that she kept sponsor money intended for the festival for personal use and also failed to bank cash from ticket sales.
Kineton Music Festival is a small, local charity fundraising festival in Warwickshire which took place on Saturday, June 23rd. This year’s edition brought in 2,200 attendees this year raising over £14,000 for two charities, Myton Hospice and Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance. In total, the festival has raised £44,000 over the last five years.
H/T: Stratford Observer | Featured Image: Mark Williamson