Divorcee Kaye Leanne Ferguson stole $1million from work after falling for TWO online dating scams
Divorced fell for TWO online dating scams and stole $1 million from her employer to give to second fraudster who claimed his employees were killed in an explosion
- Kaye Ferguson, 59, cheated on the Mulwala Water Ski Club, in NSW’s Riverina
- Former Finance Officer Transferred $1.1M From Club To Offshore Accounts
- She was sentenced in court on Tuesday to a three-year intensive correction
- The court heard that she was the victim of two scammers on the online dating site Singles 50
- After clearing her personal accounts, she sent money from work 27 times
A divorcee who siphoned $1.1 million from her employer to inject into a series of offshore bank accounts after falling victim to two online dating scams has avoided jail.
Kaye Leanne Ferguson, 59, cheated the Mulwala Water Ski Club, in the Riverina region of NSW, on the six-figure sum between December 2020 and January 2021.
The former finance officer faced a hearing in Albury court on Tuesday after pleading guilty in February to three charges of unfairly obtaining financial advantage through fraud.
The court heard that Ferguson, who had worked for the company for 10 years, started using the online dating website ‘Singles 50s’ after she divorced her husband in January 2020. Herald Sun reports.
After being scammed by two men, Ferguson emptied about $355,000 from her personal accounts before taking money from the club 27 times.
Kaye Leanne Ferguson, 59, (pictured) has been sentenced to three years of intensive correction after she cheated on her boss
She encountered her first scam six months after using the site when a man blackmailed her into transferring him $130,000 under the threat of sending explicit images of her to her children.
Mrs Ferguson later met a second man, William David Rodavan, who told her he was a Melbourne engineer who often traveled abroad for work.
In November, the two were speaking on the phone when Ferguson heard a loud noise and Rodavan abruptly hung up.
Days later, he called her and claimed he was involved in an explosion that killed several of his employees and needed money to pay for their families.
Ferguson then transferred him $225,000 of her equity, draining her accounts.
As Mr. Rodavan continued to ask for money, she started transferring money from the club at his direction – totaling $1,064,000.
She also took $40,000 to pay builders for renovations already underway on her home, which was later sold to repay the club.
Ferguson took over $1 million from the Mulwala Water Ski Club over the course of two months (pictured)
Ferguson paid the club back $10,000 from her savings during that period.
The court heard the fraud was discovered when Ferguson admitted what she had done to Mulwala Water Ski Club CEO Peter Duncan when he visited her home in January 2021.
She sank to the floor hysterically and told him, “I’m a bad person and I want someone to shoot me,” prompting Mr. Duncan to ask her to tell him what was going on.
Court heard Ferguson had been swindled by two men months after she met on dating website Singles 50
After admitting to taking the money, Mr Duncan asked her how much, expecting it to be around $200,000, before Ferguson told him it was over $1 million.
Judge Sean Grant sympathized with Ferguson’s situation and said she was also a victim.
†[She was] sad, lonely, depressed and vulnerable [at the time]’ said Judge Grant
‘Catfish and dating scammers are sophisticated.
“The desire for a relationship … is part of the human experience.”
Ferguson, who now owns nothing but her car and a few personal belongings, has repaid the club $300,000 so far.
She was sentenced to three years of intensive corrections to serve in the community.