The modest accountant, 53, is jailed for stealing $ 3.7 million from her employer for luxury cruise lines after taking half a fortune from a single ATM
- Mary Ann Abellanoza, 53, has been sentenced to at least five years in prison
- She has stolen $ 3.7 million from her luxury cruise company employers for five years
- The mother of West Sydney claimed that she had stolen to hide her gambling addiction
A woman who has stolen nearly $ 4 million from the luxury cruise company that employs her has been detained for at least five years.
Mary Ann Abellanoza, 53, was convicted of consciously dealing with the proceeds of crime and obtaining unfair financial gain on Tuesday at the Downing Center in Sydney. She pleaded guilty earlier.
The former bookkeeper worked for Silversea cruise line when she stole $ 3.7 million between 2013 and 2018.
Mary Ann Abellanoza (photo), 53, has been sentenced to at least five years in prison after she embezzled $ 3.7 million from her former employers
Abellanoza created fake suppliers and brought money for suppliers to her own accounts.
She would then withdraw the most money at ATMs in RSLs. At one RSL – Rooty Hill – Abellanoza pulled 1.8 million dollars from one ATM in five years.
The mother of West Sydney said she had stolen the money to feed her gambling addiction.
According to Abellanoza, $ 398,000 of the stolen money was lost to gambling news.com.au.
Judge Jane Culver said Abellanoza did not have a gambling problem, but used poker machines to launder the money.
& # 39; The perpetrator seemed to have created a gambling account around the time of the criminal activity & # 39 ;, the judge said.
The former bookkeeper worked at Silversea cruise line (photo) when she stole $ 3.7 million between 2013 and 2018
& # 39; These figures do not suggest that this money was used in bottomless slots. She clearly put money into slot machines and then got a check from hotels or RSL & # 39; s to launder the illegally obtained winnings. & # 39;
Abellanoza said she wanted to repay the stolen money.
Her lawyers told the court that part of the reason she committed the fraud was because she was & # 39; undervalued & # 39; and & # 39; done hard by & # 39; felt after she had been promised a personal assistant, which according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The cruise ship denied that they had offered to hire her an assistant.
Her lawyers argued that poor mental health and a tough childhood in the Philippines contributed to the theft.
She drew the most money from ATMs in RSL's. At one RSL – Rooty Hill (photo) – Abellanoza withdrew $ 1.8 million for five years
Abellanoza wrote a letter to the court expressing her remorse, but the judge doubted the validity of her words.
She said Abellanoza spent the money on trips to America and sent money to the Philippines.
Abellanoza joined the company in 2009 and was entitled to many privileges – including an annual free cruise and a $ 88,000 package.
She was sentenced to eight years in prison with a non-conditional release of five years.
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