$400,000 stolen from bank

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.

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