Multiple Charges of Obtaining Property By Deception

This is a case study on multiple charges of Obtaining Property By Deception resulting in a Community Corrections Order (CCO).

Our client was working as the payroll manager for a company. He had always wanted to be a business owner, so he started a business in the fast food industry with two of his friends. It was intended that he would take on the financial aspect of the business as opposed to a hands-on role. All business partners put in a significant amount of money to cover the start-up and fit out costs.

What is alleged to have occured?
Before long, the business was failing and they were losing money rapidly. The client then utilised a system whereby he re-activated previous employees files and paid them ‘wages’, however redirected the money into his own account. The company was large enough for the owners not to notice. He was the only person responsible for payroll when the scheme first started.

Over a period of around 1 year, the client stole approximately $120,000 from his employer. He used that money to prop up the failing business. The offending was ultimately detected and he admitted to his wrongdoing.

Kristina Kothrakis represented the client at the Melbourne County Court on multiple charges of Obtaining Property By Deception.

What happened at court?
Theft which occurs in the context of employment is viewed particularly seriously. This is because it involves a breach of trust. The client utilised company funds for his own personal benefit. It was very important to the client that he avoid a term of immediate imprisonment and we took out several important steps to assist him in achieving this result.

The court will place great significance on any attempt to make restitution. In this case, the client worked very hard and was able to make restitution in full. It was also important to properly explain the reason for the offending and lay out the chronology in a way that would convey his mental state during the course of the offending, effectively. In this case, the client was in a state of absolute desperation to solve his financial issues. He was overwhelmed by his situation and saw an opportunity to solve it, which he took.

In order for the submission to be persuasive, material in support must be obtained. We got bank and business records which showed his extreme hardship and this matched the timeline of the offending. This assisted the judge in believing what we were saying. Psychological material was also obtained to add substance to the submissions.

Kristina also made strong submissions around the client’s genuine remorse, which was demonstrated through an email he had sent the company very soon after his termination.

What was the result?
Ultimately, the judge agreed that this offending was situational to the crisis he was in, and that he was unlikely to re-offend. The judge was persuaded not to impose a term of imprisonment and instead ordered our client to perform community work. It was certainly a good outcome for a case that involves multiple charges of Obtaining Property By Deception in the context of employment.

Elements of Obtaining Property By Deception:
  • The accused obtained property belonging to another
  • The accused did so with the intention of permanently depriving the other of the property
  • The accused used deceit to obtain the property
  • The accused obtained the property dishonestly
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Kristina KothrakisKristina Kothrakis

Kristina has significant experience in criminal trials and also holds a degree in Science, majoring in Psychology, an invaluable area of knowledge, as many of her clients suffer from psychological disorders.

Kristina strives to achieve the best possible result for all her clients. Skilled, decisive and assertive, Kristina demonstrates dedication, care and professionalism at all times.

View Kristina Kothrakis’ profile.
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 08/11/2018