Gambling addiction and employee theft

Another very sad case of a person’s gambling addiction and employee theft.

Christina Tupu, a young mother with a seven month old daughter, stole more than $300,000 from her employers to fund her lifestyle and gambling addiction, has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Judge Gregory Koppenol in the Brisbane District Court stated “The breach of trust is breathtaking,”

The court was told Ms Tupu stole more than $340,000 from two companies.

She stole from Electrolux ($130,000) whilst working as a sales assistant from September 2015 to June 2016. The fraud was perpetrated by telling one of the business’ customers its banking details had changed and providing her husband’s bank account details.

She also stole more than $200,000 from Toll Holdings between December 2015 and April 2017.

The court was told the stolen funds were used to fund a lifestyle that included international flights for 31 family members, hotels and cruises as well as being funneled into poker machines as a result of Ms Tupu’s gambling addiction.

It is understood that three weeks after her employment was terminated for not showing up to work on a regular basis, she was hired by Toll Holdings. Within six months of starting at her new employer she fraudulently changed the bank details on invoices to be paid by Toll Holdings to a third party.  Instead she substituted her husband’s bank account details, similar to what she had done at Electrolux. She also went on to duplicate and completely falsify invoices, using two of her colleagues’ login details in the process.

Ms Tupu was sentenced to five-and-a-half years’ jail to be suspended after serving 20 months.

For further cases of gambling addiction related fraud in Australia, please refer to our research studies on the publications tab on our website -https://warfield.com.au/publications/ .  The research covers more than 1,000 cases over more than 18 years.