An online estate agent is awaiting sentence after being found guilty of a £5,000 fraud
Claire Ainsworth, who worked for the agency at Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, has been found guilty of telling the seller of the property one price and the buyer another price - Ainsworth kept the difference, which was paid to her in cash.
Ainsworth, 35, pleaded not guilty to fraud by false representation but was convicted in her absence when she failed to turn up on the day of the trial last week.
She was sent on bail to Burnley Crown Court where she will be sentenced at the end of next month.
The local media, reporting on the initial case heard at Blackburn magistrates court, cites prosecutor Andy Robinson as saying Ainsworth told the owner of a property the buyer was willing to pay £80,000.
She then told the buyer a price of £85,000 had been agreed which was to be paid £80,000 online and £5,000 in cash.
Paolo Passerini, defending, said that on the day of the trial his client had been in hospital with her child who had suddenly been taken ill.
However, Ainsworth was found guilty in her absence.
Here is a local report of the case.