April 29, 2024 3 min read


Australia: 68-Year-Old Sentenced to Prison after $2.6M Fraud

The woman used the ill-gained money to fund gambling addiction, pay for luxury cruises

It is not uncommon for people suffering from gambling addiction to be pushed into different crimes. Addiction can have dire consequences for the people experiencing it and their family members, which is why cases of problem gamblers who engage in fraud or even violent crimes are not uncommon. Now, a recent fraud case resulted in a sentencing for a 68-year-old woman in Victoria, Australia.

The criminal case involves a woman identified with the initials M.W., who was sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison by the County Court in Victoria, the Daily Mail reports. The woman allegedly abused her position with a family-owned company, stealing some AU$4 million ($2.62 million). The money was then used by the 68-year-old for personal expenditures, including luxury trips and gambling.

For more than a decade, M.W. was employed by Stosius Constructions, a family-run business. She served as a bookkeeper which granted her rights over strategic financial aspects of the business. Regretfully, the 68-year-old abused the trust the firm put in her hands and allegedly used her powers to transfer money from the company’s bank account to her personal account.

Judge Gabriele Cannon spoke during the recent sentencing of the 68-year-old. The Judge acknowledged that the woman was able to steal millions while abusing her senior-level role with the business, actions that had a detrimental impact on its finances. “You were a long-term and trusted employee of the victim company you knew to be a family company and who you deliberately stole from time and time again,” explained Judge Cannon.

Fraudulently Obtained Funds Were Used for Gambling, Luxury Cruises

The thefts incapacitated the company to a level that its future was uncertain. Considering that it was a family-run business, the actions of the bookkeeper resulted in fights between family members. The company’s former director accused himself of ineffective management which ultimately resulted in losses for Stosius Constructions. Still, nobody suspected the 68-year-old of her crime prior to her admitting to the fraudulent activities.

The alleged fraudulent activity occurred between 2014 and 2021. At that time, while holding the role of an accountant, the 68-year-old woman allegedly abused her power, taking money from the company’s bank account on many occasions. In November 2021, she admitted to the crimes she committed in front of the Stosius Constructions’ director and his son.

During her recent sentencing, the court heard that the 68-year-old used money obtained through fraud to fund expensive luxury cruises. She also spent an estimated AU$50,000 ($32,800) to gamble on pokies and gave money to her children.

When questioned by law enforcement in October 2022, the former bookkeeper admitted she “enjoyed (her) time and enjoyed what was happening,” referring to the money spent on luxury cruises. Although she was aware of her crimes, the woman said that she “didn’t give it conscious thought.”


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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