Problem gambler Ho Ming Wong confessed to stealing over $6 million from his former employer to fuel his gambling addiction. Wong was previously employed as a team manager at the Australian superannuation saving trust company AMP until he was eventually dismissed in 2019. During his employment there, the gambler grew into the habit of withdrawing hefty sums from AMP clients’ accounts to try and recoup the losses he incurred while gambling.
Wong eventually decided to fight his gambling addiction and voluntarily confessed his massive theft to the local police authorities. The former AMP employee was so serious about combating his addiction that he even supplied local police officers with Excel spreadsheets where he detailed his hefty theft.
The former employee was sentenced to six years jail-time by a County Court. However, the man can become eligible for a reduction of his sentence to parole in two years due to his voluntary confession. He spent most of the stolen money to place online wagers with the betting site Sportsbet.
The Stolen Funds Were Mostly Wagered at Sportsbet and Crown Casino
A smaller portion of the missing funds was spent on gambling at Melbourne’s Crown Casino. Following an investigation by the superannuation company, it was determined the man has repaid around a little over $1 million from the stolen funds in 2015 and again in 2019.
The amount was repaid to AMP customers’ accounts directly from the problem gambler’s Commonwealth Bank and online sports betting accounts. Subsequently, it was established during the trial that the remainder of the stolen funds was repaid to the affected customers by AMP themselves.
The former employee first confessed about his crime in July 2019 when he dropped by a police station in West Melbourne and straight out stated he wanted to admit to stealing $5 million from his employer. Wong told the court during his hearing that he first transferred funds from the account of an AMP customer to his bank account back in 2014.
The man admitted he initially intended to restore the money he stole but his gambling addiction took the best of him. He continued to fuel his problem gambling by withdrawing funds from the accounts of more customers.
Wong Stole $5 Million in 2018 and 2019
The former AMP employee told the court the amounts he stole from the company’s clients per withdrawal drastically increased as his gambling addiction started to spiral out of control. The man withdrew as much as $5 million in 2018 and 2019 alone.
His problem gambling escalated to such a massive extent that Sportsbet themselves eventually reached out to Wong to offer him to take advantage of the services of a gambling addiction counsellor. The man refused the offer so the online betting operator terminated his account.
The former AMP team manager confessed to 28 individual charges of thievery to the collective amount of $6.39 million. He dealt with customer investments in superannuation and shares from 2014 until he was dismissed in the summer of 2019. Judge Elizabeth Gaynor, who presided over the case, commented Wong was facing seven years in jail with a minimum of five years had it not been for his confession and co-operation.