A former SKM Recycling employee jailed for siphoning $168,000 of the business’s money into personal accounts told police who arrested her that she knew it was “a dumb move”.
Delwyn Burgess, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison and a two-year community corrections order, including 300 hours of community work, in Melbourne’s County Court on Friday.
The New Zealander used fake payroll records to make 98 payments into her own accounts between 2016 and 2017 while working as a financial officer at failed recycling company SKM.
Judge Felicity Hampel said Burgess used the money to pay off road toll debt, purchase everyday items and cover living expenses.
“Your actions were motivated by greed, not need,” Judge Hampel said.
Burgess resigned from SKM in December 2017 and was only caught after a staff member noticed their PAYG [pay-as-you-go] statement stated a higher salary than they were paid.
The company’s then-chief financial officer was notified and an investigation was conducted by Deloitte Risk Advisory.
Deloitte reported that between July 2016 and November 2017, 98 payments totalling more than $168,000 were made into a bank account under Burgess’s name, but were recorded as payments to 25 other SKM employees.
SKM provided the report to Victoria Police in November last year.
‘Your child is not complicit in your wrongdoing’
Burgess was arrested in March, admitted to the fraud and pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception in June.
The defence argued Burgess stole the money to provide a better life for her son.
Judge Hampel said that was no excuse and provided a poor lesson for a child “in terms of honesty, integrity and trust”.
“Your child is not complicit in your wrongdoing and he should not be made to feel so by such justifications,” Judge Hampel said.
The court heard that when she was arrested, Burgess told police the fraud was “a dumb move” and that she “regretted it every day”.