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Shane Hatton jailed for stealing more than $1million from surfers Tyler, Owen and Michael Wright

Bookkeeper jailed after confessing to stealing more than $1 million from champion surfing family to fund her gambling addiction

  • Bookkeeper Australian surfers Tyler, Owen and Michael Wright convicted
  • Shane Hatton, 54, has been the Wrights’ bookkeeper since 2011
  • She made over 700 transfers from customer accounts to feed gambling addiction

An accountant for top Australian surfers Tyler, Owen and Michael Wright has been jailed after she was convicted of stealing more than $1 million to fund her gambling addiction.

Shane Maree Hatton, 54, has worked for the Wrights since 2011, making 700 transfers from her clients’ accounts worth $1.5 million.

She then spent the money on horse racing websites to feed her gambling addiction.

Shane Maree Hatton (pictured), 54, has worked for the Wrights since 2011, making 700 transfers from her clients' accounts worth $1.5 million to feed her gambling addiction

Shane Maree Hatton (pictured), 54, has worked for the Wrights since 2011, making 700 transfers from her clients’ accounts worth $1.5 million to feed her gambling addiction

Hatton was charged on 749 counts of unfairly obtaining financial advantage through fraud in April 2021 after being arrested in Vincentia, on the south coast of NSW.

The 54-year-old was a friend of the surfers’ mother, Fiona Wright.

She pleaded guilty to defrauding the family for more than a decade while taking care of their bills.

Hatton came clean in 2020 when Owen Wright dug into discrepancies in his accounts and questioned the bookkeeper.

When questioned by the court about why it took more than ten years to confess, she replied, “I’ve had enough of a double life.”

“The addiction had taken over. I didn’t feel like I could stop,” she said.

After she confessed, Hatton dug through 15 boxes of banking information, highlighting any transactions that were dishonest.

She pleaded guilty to all charges and said she is nauseous thinking about the damage she has caused.

In a letter to the court, surfer Owen Wright said he accused his parents of stealing the missing money and their relationship has never been the same since, while he suffered a serious surfing injury.

“My relationships with my parents are still damaged by the angry outbursts I had about this,” he said.

Australian surfers Tyler Wright (left), Owen Wright (center) and Michael Wright (right) had Shane Hatton as their bookkeeper for a decade

Australian surfers Tyler Wright (left), Owen Wright (center) and Michael Wright (right) had Shane Hatton as their bookkeeper for a decade

“I was still being stolen from me when I could barely walk and when doctors said I would never work again… I wanted to retire but I couldn’t afford it and fought back… risking my life read statement.

In Wollongong District Court on Thursday, Judge Andrew Haesler sentenced Hatton to five years and six months in prison, with a three-year non-parole period.

Hatton has already paid back $100,000 to the family, but the court has ordered her to pay another $650,000, which is about half of what she stole.

Tyler Wright is a two-time women’s surfing world champion, while brother Owen won a bronze medal for Australia in men’s surfing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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