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Sunday, August 9, 2015

Perth bank manager who stole $515,000 jailed for four years

Perth bank manager who stole $515,000 jailed for four years

AUGUST 07, 2015

A former Westpac manager has been jailed for stealing $515,000 over four months.
A former Westpac manager has been jailed for stealing $515,000 over four months. Source: News Limited
A FORMER Westpac bank manager who stole $515,000 over four months to finance his gambling addiction has been jailed for more than four years.
Darren Jason Arnold, 38, pleaded guilty to abusing his position at the Northbridge branch in Perth to steal money between December 2013 and March 2014.
He only stopped when he was found by Westpac investigators with “his hand in the till” trying to take $85,000 from the bank’s treasury.
The District Court of Western Australia heard on Friday that Arnold’s crime spree started when his wife wanted to buy a bigger house for their family.
She was unaware of his gambling addiction and the $200,000 of unsecured loans he had in his name.
The couple bought a $720,000 house, mortgaged for its full value, prompting Arnold to try to gamble his way out of financial difficulty.
During his four months of thieving, he used a friend’s various accounts to withdraw the money in amounts ranging from $190 to $157,000, most of it withdrawn in cash.
Arnold covered his tracks by telling colleagues he would take the cash directly to the client and he used other tellers’ computers to carry out the transactions, the court heard.
But instead he gambled almost all of the money at the government-owned betting agency, TAB.
Once caught, Arnold resigned from his position and six months later took a job at the Bank of Queensland (BOQ).
The court heard Arnold did not tell the BOQ about the thefts because he had not been charged, but resigned after the bank was tipped off by staff.
Judge Christopher Stevenson said it seemed extraordinary in this day and age that nobody noticed Arnold taking the money from Westpac.
Judge Stevenson also said Arnold’s job at BOQ showed he had a “strong work ethic”, and the fact he was able to get employment said more about the bank than him.
The court heard Arnold was remorseful and embarrassed by his actions, and had been diagnosed with a gambling disorder, which was consistent with his “hope of a winning future”.
He was sentenced to four years and three months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and three months.

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