A Queensland problem gambler, who served as a charity manager and siphoned over AU$1 million from a non-profit organisation to gamble, has been jailed for eight years for stealing the afore-mentioned amount and using it fuel her gambling habit, as well as other entertainment activities.
At a hearing which took place at the District Court in Brisbane, it became clear that the former charity manager Donna Healey carried out 866 bank transfers amounting to more than AU$1 million from the bank account of the Horizons Respite and Recreation Association to to her personal bank account during the time when she was working at the position of an administration manager in the non-profit organisation. It became clear that Mrs. Healey has used the money to fuel her gambling addiction, as well as to pay for pay-TV account, holidays and even for the business expenses of her husband.
Melissa Wilson, Crown prosecutor, had earlier revealed in court that about AU$2,500 were spent by Mrs. Healey on local poker machines on a weekly basis. Despite the fact that she obviously suffered from problem gambling behaviour, not all the money was spent on gambling activities. As revealed by the prosecutor, there was a large number of payments made, including tax payments, general household bills, insurance companies payments, etc.
Gambling Addiction Dulled Her Ability to Control Herself
The defendant pleaded guilty at the Brisbane District Court hearing that she has used her administrative officer position at the charity to misappropriate funds from the non-profit organization to her own bank account. As mentioned above, Mrs. Healey was found guilty of making such money transfers on a total of 866 occasions.
The 54-year-old woman had worked in the charity for 15 years, until misappropriation was detected in 2013 and Mrs. Healey was given the sack. The last four years at the Horizons Respite and Recreation Association at the position of administration officer. The non-profit organisation, which is based in Redcliffe, was focused on helping families and individuals who suffer from severe disabilities. Unfortunately, the charity was not able to buy certain communications equipment due to the actions of Mrs. Healey.
When reading the sentence, Judge Deborah Richards said that the defendant’s actions were not only well-calculated, but Mrs. Healey also demonstrated an absolute disregard for others, especially considering the fact that the rest of the people involved were among the most vulnerable people of the society. As mentioned above, the Judge highlighted the fact that the charity organisation was unable to purchase the necessary equipment because of the former administration officer’s actions.
According to a psychologist’s report ordered, Mrs. Haley suffered from a severe form of problem gambling behaviour, which had made her unable to control her behaviour. The 54-year-old woman has already repaid an amount of over AU$200,000 since the misappropriation was found in 2013. The former charity manager will become eligible for parole in September 2019.