Fraud Charges – Finance Officer
Obtaining property by deception over seven financial years between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2011.
The accused was employed as a finance officer at a private residential aged care facility in Victoria. From 2004 to 2010 the employee diverted funds belonging to the employer to herself, either in cash or via the 47 bank accounts created for this purpose. The total amount obtained over this period was $1.4 million. The fraudulent activities eventually came to an end when the bank and CEO of the facility instigated an enquiry.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions proceeded against the employee with the charge of obtaining property by deception. The employee was summonsed to appear in the County Court.
After the employee’s fraudulent activities were uncovered, she fully cooperated with her employer and assisted the police with their enquiries, providing financial records and a 14-page spreadsheet to assist in identifying the misappropriated money.
The employee also made a repayment of approximately $60,000. Although this amount was a fraction of what had been misappropriated, the sentencing judge found this extremely persuasive when combined with the cooperation and remorse of the employee.
A further refund of $43,000 from the bank to the aged care facility was also arranged.
The employee in this matter was living with psychological conditions arising out of a difficult childhood. She suffered from depression and low self-esteem. Under the Criminal Code the County Court was obliged to take the above matters into account when determining the sentence. The sentencing judge also referred to the counselling the employee had undertaken and found that she had done everything possible to address her offending and rehabilitation.
Based on these factors, the employee was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, with a fixed non-parole period of three years. A restitution order for the repayment of $1,303,543 was also made.
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