FILE SHOT: Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
FILE SHOT: Bundaberg court house Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT2

Employee stole $125,000 from his employer

A BUNDABERG father-of-three who gambled away more than $125,000 stolen from his employer over a nine-month period has been jailed for 12 months.

Michael Gregory Drewett, 40, was sentenced in the Bundaberg District Court today after he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud as an employee of an amount more than $30,000.

Crown prosecutor Mel Wilson told the court Drewett was employed by All in Stone Benchtops to manage the finances of the small business between November 2013 and August 2014.

She said the complainant became concerned about the reduced cash flow despite an increase in work.

Ms Wilson said a check of the banking records revealed between December 2013 and August 2014 Drewett made 38 fraudulent transactions, depositing payments from jobs directly into a bank account in his own name.

She said the total amount fraudulently obtained by Drewett was $125,554.12, none of which has been repaid.

"It was a gross breach of trust. It was a significant amount of money," Ms Wilson said.

The court heard Drewett's actions took an emotional toll on the complainant who battled hard to keep his business afloat after the financial loss.

In Drewett's defence, defence barrister Bernard Reilly said his client had battled a number of demons including a major depression disorder, a gambling addiction and substance and alcohol abuse issues, with all the money frittered away on gambling,.

"He has absolutely nothing to show for his offending," he said.

Mr Reilly said his client was very remorseful for his actions and the shame it had brought on his family and friends.

"His wife continues to stand by him and he is very fortunate in that instance," he said.

In sentencing Judge Michael Burnett described Drewett's offending as "selfish".

He said the money Drewett fraudulently obtained was a significant amount and "almost caused the business to fail".

Drewett was sentenced to a four years imprisonment, suspended after 12 months.

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