Ex-Football Club Manager Could Face Another Nine Months in Prison for Stealing Lottery Money
John Vickers is facing another sentence of nine months for stealing money from the Lincoln City FC’s lottery. He will have to face jail time if he fails to repay the money.
Vickers stole over £36,000 in 11 years from the PayPal and lottery accounts of the Lincoln City Football Club. He was the general club manager and reportedly stole the money because of his gambling habit. He went on trial for fraud by abuse of position in January this year and pleaded guilty. His initial sentence was 14 months in prison, but if he doesn’t repay the amount he stole in full, he could be in jail for another nine months. Vickers was released from jail after serving only three months due to the early release scheme.
He attended the court for a Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) on May 17 for a six-minute hearing. Judge Simon Hirst has ordered the 48-year-old former manager to repay the £36,212 of embezzled funds or get ready for jail time again. The court found that his assets were sufficient to pay off the money he stole to Lincoln City FC, also known as the Imps. He has already paid back £3,225 and has been given three months to comply with the court orders. His defense attorney said that Vickers fully understands what he has done and his apology is genuine.
During the January trial, the Imps told the court that he was a trusted employee and a friend to many people working for the club for years. They noted that his actions inspired shock and disappointment at the club. They also thanked the authorities for their diligence and said that the club is pleased with the results. It also said that the Imps would not comment on this issue any further.
During the January trial, Vickers was accused of having stolen from the club on 287 occasions between January 1, 2006, and September 14, 2017. All the funds were transferred to his own PayPal accounts. In 2010, Vickers became the general manager for the club and was shifted to a new role in 2017. As he was not in charge of the accounts anymore, he was asked to hand over access. Upon his constant refusal, he was suspended. The club confiscated his cellphone and laptop and investigated further to learn of the theft.
Judge Hirst said that this was a fraud that took place over a long period, and during this, the club was facing a difficult financial situation. Vickers has been gambling since he was young. He started with slot machines and quickly became addicted to gambling. His addiction led him to steal money from the Imps. He hoped to win big and pay back his employer with that sum. He has since stopped gambling and is being treated for depression.