June 17, 2024 3 min read

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Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

New Zealand: Bank Teller Steals from Customers to Fuel Gambling Addiction

The former bank teller admitted to stealing nearly $20,000 from vulnerable customers such as elderly or people with cognitive issues

Gambling addiction can often lead to dire consequences, especially for people who have easy access to money. This is precisely the case of a former bank teller who faces nearly ten charges after allegedly stealing money from elderly and people with health issues to fuel her gambling addiction.

The criminal case involves a woman from New Plymouth, New Zealand, who used to be employed by TSB Bank, a report released by the New Zealand Herald reveals. Identified with the initials C.G.T.T., the 28-year-old woman is suspected of stealing more than NZ$28,000 ($17,100), primarily from elderly people who did not have access to online banking or such that had different health issues.

Overall, the former bank teller is suspected of stealing from four customers of the bank. What’s shocking in the case is that she allegedly took a careful approach when targeting her victims in an attempt to cover the traces of her actions.

The young woman was employed by the bank between May 2022 and October 2023. Before her crimes were uncovered, she quit her job. Overall, the former bank teller faces eight charges related to accessing a computer system for dishonest purposes. In addition, the 28-year-old is charged for using a document for a pecuniary advantage.

The suspect, who admitted to all charges, appeared in front of Judge Gregory Hikaka last week. In court, the judge said that the bank teller “carefully” selected her victims, which is why her crime was shocking and cruel. “It’s clear that you picked your victims. Elderly, some with cognitive issues, and people who did not have online internet banking, because they preferred face-to-face contact with someone they thought they could trust,” Hikaka said.

An Unelaborate but Serious Crime

Sam Hunt, the 28-year-old’s defense lawyer, said that her actions were the result of gambling addiction. The defense lawyer said that her client showed remorse for her actions, didn’t have any criminal history and entered into a treatment program. Hunt added that the 28-year-old also repaid the bank in full the money that was stolen.

However, Judge Hikaka acknowledged the seriousness of the crime, considering the former bank teller abused her position and stole from people who were vulnerable. Although the woman was remanded on bail, her sentencing was delayed to September.

The overall sum allegedly stolen by the former bank teller is NZ$28,286 ($17,300), an investigation uncovered. The scheme was flagged after one of the clients the 28-year-old stole from received a letter about funds being taken from a dormant account.

An internal investigation led by the bank uncovered that the first theft was completed on August 11. The former bank teller took sums that varied in size with the biggest one being NZ$8,000 ($4,900). The hefty sum was taken from a couple’s account with details of the transaction describing that the money was transferred to their “premier” account when in reality, it was withdrawn.

Journalist

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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