A woman who stole $270,000 from her employer and used the funds to pay her fines, council rates and bills has launched a severity appeal as a result of her two-year jail sentence.
Debbie Anne Smith, 59, of Yuranigh Road, Molong, worked as an office manager for Hamcon Civil Construction from 2008 to 2017 when she stole $271,471.
Her responsibilities included administrative and financial duties, including payroll, invoicing, banking and purchasing.
Following her resignation, significant discrepancies were discovered between her leave sheets and balances and the wage that was paid to her was significantly inflated from an agreed gross salary of $85,000 to a gross salary of $123,000.
A forensic financial investigation revealed that between August 2012 and August 2017 she was overpaid by $141,648 in gross wages and $15,651.28 in superannuation.
During the investigation she said she was owed the money for unpaid overtime but the investigation also revealed she misused a company cheque account and company credit cards.
On the day of her resignation, she used the company money to buy a laptop and printer that police found in a search of her former Cadia Road home. The investigation also revealed that Smith manipulated MYOB invoices to hide $5581 in cash payments, she used the company credit card to pay $20,685 in Telstra bills, $1455 in vet bills, $827 in driving fines and $828 in clothes.
She also used the credit card to pay a $10,765 Origin Energy account, $530 for earth moving, and $4755 to her bank account.
She also used fuel cards for $22,805.76 in fuel purchases, misused petty cash, and used company money to for her credit card repayments and property rates.
Solicitor Philip Boncardo did not give a reason for the theft and told magistrate David Day that Smith sold her house to repay the money in full. He suggested she could serve her sentence in the community.
However, Smith did not plead guilty until the day of a civil court hearing and she was ordered to repay the money by the Supreme Court.
"I'm of the view that [jail] is required to send the message to the community that this type of behaviour is not acceptable," Mr Day said.
Smith was taken into custody after Mr Day gave her a two-year jail sentence with an 18-month non-parole period, but was released on bail later in the day after lodging a severity appeal that will be held in the district court.
DO YOU WANT MORE ORANGE NEWS?
- Receive our free newsletters delivered to your inbox, as well as breaking news alerts. Sign up below ...