$400,000 stolen from bank
Jailed for theft
A former Queenstown bank employee convicted of a $400,000 theft has been jailed for two years and seven months.
Jenna Lee Robinson, pictured, 29, of Arthurs Pt, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in Queenstown District Court for directly accessing a computer bank system to set up 16 fictitious accounts with loan and overdraft facilities and five counts of theft on dates between August 2010 and July last year.
Judge Turner suppressed the bank’s identity and referred to sentencing reports that the defendant was ’’living the dream’’ in Queenstown, happily married with a house and well-paid job.
’’One consequence was to cast a shadow on the whole banking team of the [victim] bank in this area. Your colleagues felt guilty because they did not see what was happening and were angry because you lied to them and manipulated them. They felt as if they were unwilling accomplices in your offending. There was an enormous breach of the trust you held in a responsible position.’’
Her lawyer Nic Soper said a forensic psychologist’s report identified it was likely that Robinson was suffering from schizoid personality disorder but she fully accepted her responsibility and culpability. Reports referred to an intelligent young woman smart enough to understand the immorality and risk, who did not believe she would be caught. Robinson, a business banking relationship manager, resigned from her job in Queenstown in August last year to take a position with another bank. In November, an asset recovery manager reviewed a file with a home loan in arrears and identified the bank did not hold any security regarding the loan.
Multiple discrepancies were identified and the matter was passed to a bank investigation team, who found she used her staff access code between August 16, 2010 - her 26th birthday - and October 25, 2012, to create 16 fictitious accounts and arranged for loans and overdrafts for all the accounts.
Overdrafts and loans ranged between $12,000 and $120,000 and the final sum was $402,386. She told police she used the money to fund a $115,000 deposit for a $575,000 home in Arthurs Pt. Money was also used to pay off credit card debt, pay for a five-week holiday in Canada and a four-week holiday in Japan, holidays in New Zealand and furnishings.
Omakau hunting probe
Police may lay charges after three men were arrested for hunting without permission on a property at Drybread near Omakau over the weekend.
Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said it was early in the investigation and police were still making inquiries into the incident.
‘‘At this stage it is not known if any charges will follow. It is however timely to remind people to contact police immediately if they find people on property without permission. Constable Toni Velenski, our Rural Community Officer for Central Otago, is also always happy to hear from anyone who has information about people hunting illegally in the area.’’
Velenski could be contacted on 03 440 2500.
Arrest in Clyde
A 34-year-old Clyde man was arrested yesterday and charged with theft, wilful damage and disorder. All charges relate to incidents in Clyde during the past month involving vandalism of taps and irrigations systems. The man will appear in the Alexandra District Court today. Police said they were assisted in solving these crimes by excellent observations by vigilant neighbours.
Death after hotel fall
A 19-year-old man who fell from a hotel balcony in Queenstown has died in hospital.
James Teague, of Sydney, died at 11.40pm on Saturday, a Dunedin hospital spokeswoman said.
The University of Sydney student had been in a critical condition since Thursday. Teague was on holiday friends at the Glebe Apartments in Queenstown.
Police said that just before 3am on Thursday, Teague tried to climb from a secondfloor balcony to the rooftop of the Glebe Apartments.
He suffered a major head injury after falling six metres from the balcony to a carpark, police said. He had been drinking with four other friends at the time, Detective Matt Jones said. The death has been referred to a coroner.
Remanded in custody
A Fijian man who was allegedly in disguise and carrying a false passport at Queenstown Airport entered a guilty plea. Ro Verelevu Matiatini, 53, whose address was given as New Lynn in Auckland, appeared in the Queenstown District Court before Judge Michael Turner.
He pleaded guilty to using a false Australian passport on April 13. He was remanded in custody to appear in the Auckland District Court on September 3.