Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception – Breach of Trust

Our client was an employee of a company. His role started off as a receptionist, then expanded over time to bookkeeping, payroll, invoicing, and computer maintenance. He did not have any formal qualifications to undertake this role.

He had a long standing history of financial difficulty and accumulating debt. There was also a long standing gambling addiction that worsened over time. He was having problems at work managing the load, and to assist in coping with the stresses, he would gamble at night. The cycle of excessive gambling and alcohol abuse got out of hand. All of the money he took from the workplace was gambled away.

What is alleged to have occured?
Over a 5-year period, he stole just over $2.1 million dollars. This was done over 364 individual transactions and he paid the money directly into his own account. The offending was detected once some changes were being made to the distribution of work in the office.

Our client was charged with 6 rolled-up charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception, which individually carries a maximum term of 10 years imprisonment. Given that the deception occurred in the workplace, the conduct was considered especially serious due to the breach of trust that was involved. This was further compounded due to the client being a close personal friend of his employer.

What happened at court?
Kristina Kothrakis represented our client at the Melbourne County Court.

Kristina Kothrakis relied on a psychological report that said that he had a depressive illness that was underlying the offending. A letter of apology was read aloud in Court. Our client’s motivation for the offending and the challenges he faced during the offending period and post detection were put before the Court. The Judge accepted that he was remorseful and gave the fullest possible discount for his early resolution of the matter.

What was the result?
A total effective sentence of 6 years and 10 months term of imprisonment was imposed, with 4 years to serve before being eligible for parole. Had our client pleaded not guilty but was found guilty by the court, the sentence would have been 9 years term of imprisonment with a non-parole period of 6 years and 6 months.

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 25/02/2013