Gambling addiction: Manager steals over $2 million from clients' funds

Court notes over 200 fraudulent transactions, hundreds of false documents

Gambling addiction: Manager steals over $2 million from clients' funds

The County Court of Victoria recently sentenced a manager for a series of fraud offenses spanning over a decade. The offender, a man in his mid-30s, had been employed at a company that provided business management, tax services, and royalty accounting to clients in the music, hospitality, and entertainment industries.

Over the course of 11 years, he had risen through the ranks, eventually becoming a partner and client business manager. However, beneath the professional success, the offender had been engaging in a series of fraudulent activities.

He obtained a total financial advantage of over $2 million from 11 separate client entities through 239 fraudulent transactions. The court found that he created 337 false documents to facilitate these frauds, manipulating invoices, emails, and payment summaries to divert funds into his own bank account.

Impact on victims

According to records, the offender's crimes were eventually uncovered by a colleague who noticed suspicious transactions and reported the matter to the company's management.

When confronted, the offender made full admissions, revealing that he had used the stolen funds to fuel his gambling addiction.

The court received victim impact statements that revealed the consequences of the offender's actions. Business owners spoke of sleepless nights, financial uncertainty, and the struggle to maintain their livelihoods in the wake of the thefts.

Some had been forced to sell properties or source extra funds just to keep their businesses afloat. Beyond the financial losses, the victims described the emotional toll of the betrayal. They spoke of shattered trust, increased anxiety, and a sense of anger and frustration. The realization that someone they had worked closely with and held in high regard could commit such acts left them feeling “gutted” and questioning their ability to trust others.

The manager’s gambling addiction

The court looked into the offender's personal background, including his upbringing in a stable and loving family, his academic achievements, and his seemingly promising career trajectory. However, he had been grappling with a severe gambling addiction.

Psychological reports presented to the court indicated that the offender met the diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder, specified as severe and in sustained remission.

He had been engaging in psychological treatment to address his addiction, cognitive distortions, and lack of empathy for his victims.

The court’s penalty

The offender expressed remorse and shame for his actions, acknowledging the harm he had caused. He had made full admissions to the police and cooperated with the investigation. Since his offending came to light, he had not gambled and had taken steps to exclude himself from gambling platforms.

However, the court also had to consider the need for general deterrence, sending a clear message that white-collar crime would not be tolerated and that those who breach the trust placed in them would face serious consequences.

Consequently, the court sentenced him to six years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 3 years and 9 months’ imprisonment.

Recent articles & video

New business owner dismisses worker via phone call: Is it unfair dismissal?

Fired for 'disrespecting' co-workers? Chef cries unfair dismissal after walkout

Unemployment rate sees uptick to 3.8% in March: ABS

JCU confirms underpaying casual employees

Most Read Articles

WA introduces changes to long service leave regulations for local government workers

Remote worker speaks out about 'unfair dismissal'

Firm offers more leave days for in-office workers: reports