Carol Oswald- Don’t judge harshly

This case is very interesting from an EIM typology point of view. It would appear that Ms Oswald is a Likeable Fraudster. All the signs are there, the unstoppable gambling, wanting the big win so that she could “payback her loan”. In addition she is remorseful and owned up immediately when confronted with evidence. An Arrogant Fraudster would never do any of these things, and when confronted would insist on his/her story (despite it being obvious that it was untrue) or re-shaping a story to engender trust

carol oswald


Sadly Carol Oswald is now in prison. She normally lives in Scotland, is only 53 and her chances now of getting work are negligible after being freed. She has ruined her life and she knows it. And more that highly likely cannot understand why the heck she did it. One feature of the Likeable Fraudster is that they are an honest pillar of the community until one day her world changes when a previous trauma in her life – and being female this is highly likely to be sexual abuse as a child. Something happened to her 5 years ago when the only possible solution to her problem is to take a loan from the Post Office that she was managing.

Here is the story annotated from the BBC website (

“Carol Oswald was told to pay almost £90,000 to the Post Office and more than £8,000 to the estate of one of her victims.

Oswald is serving 40 months in jail after she admitted embezzling more than £110,000 over five years.

The sub-post office manager embezzled the money to fund a gambling habit.

Sheriff Lindsay Foulis ordered confiscation of £100,000 Oswald had made from the proceeds of crime.

Position of trust

She was ordered to pay £89,573 to the Post Office, £8,059 to the executors of Jean Johnston’s estate, and £2,367 to Letham Climate Challenge.

Oswald also stole more than £8,000 from 81-year-old Jean Johnson, who trusted her to run the Post Office.

The 53-year-old previously admitted embezzling £100,000 from Letham Post Office between 1 January 2008 and 6 December 2012.

She further admitted embezzling £2,367 from Letham Climate Challenge while she was a trustee of the charity.” She was hand-picked by the local resident’s association when they formed the Letham Climate Challenge charity to help set it up as a registered charity pursuing green initiatives for the community.

“Oswald had been asked to set up a bank account for the charity but had not done so, and kept tax payments she was due to make on its sole employee’s behalf.”

The Judge’s words about her actions were that: “They resulted in very significant sums being misappropriated by yourself. The problem with people who embezzle is that they don’t think of anyone but themselves.”

From being a possible victim she is pilloried. The Sherriff (Scotland’s sheriffs deal with the vast majority of civil and criminal cases at first instance.)  took into account a criminal justice social work report on Oswald and still jailed her for 40 months.

And where is the justice in that?




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