Obtaining Property By Deception – Theft From Employer

This is a case study on a charge of Obtaining Property By Deception involving a theft from employer.

Our client was employed at one of the big banks as a teller. During the course of his employment, he was experiencing financial difficulty which eventually led to the offending. It was ultimately detected and he was terminated from his role.

The bank then referred the matter to the police. The client was interviewed by the police and made full and very frank admissions to the offending. He outlined both the detailed methodology and the motivation for the offending.

Theft from employer is considered to be a very serious class of offending. This is because it involves a breach of the trust the employer places in the employee. This client had access to people’s private information through his role, and brazenly accessed their accounts by manipulating the passwords. This could not be said to be spontaneous or opportunistic.

What is alleged to have occured?
In order to relieve some of his financial pressures, the client allegedly embarked on a system whereby he would enter a person’s account details then change their password for internet banking. He then logged on as that person, then transferred money from their account to his own. He had selected account holders with significant sums of money in them, and who lived overseas to reduce the risk of detection. In total, he stole over $30,000 from more than 10 people.

Kristina Kothrakis acted on the client’s behalf at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on the charge of Obtaining Property By Deception.

What happened at court?
During the course of preparing the matter, the client disclosed to Kristina the significant difficulties he was experiencing in the lead up to the offending. They were both serious financial problems and also mental health problems. The client was a relatively young person, in his mid-20’s, who became completely overwhelmed by his mounting debt. He felt as though he could not turn to anyone to assist him in resolving his issues. He was embarrassed and ashamed. Sadly, he had planned to take this money to pay his debts, and was then going to end his life.

Thankfully after it all came to light, those close to him offered him a great deal of support. He was able to borrow money to repay the bank in full. He utilised professional support resources and was able to go back to his university studies with a newfound hopeful outlook. Slowly, he began to rebuild himself.

In order to get a positive result in this matter, it was critical that the magistrate truly understood the thought processes and motivation for the offending. Thus the events which led to the offending were carefully explained to the magistrate. Kristina sought reports from the professionals who assisted him and also presented strong character material to the court.

What was the result?
The magistrate was of the view that obtaining property by deception in a form of theft from employer was a serious matter and warranted the recording of a conviction. But ultimately he was persuaded not to impose a term of imprisonment in this instance. The client was sentenced to a Community Corrections Order with a condition that he performs 150 hours of unpaid community work.

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; and
  • 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 07/08/2019