A Wollongong woman who stole almost $57,000 from her employer, in part to cover money owed from a previous fraud conviction, will not have to repay the outstanding money.
Marie Micevski, 49, appeared in Wollongong District Court yesterday to answer charges stemming from her actions while she was employed as a bookkeeper at Hillston Vineyard, west of Griffith, in 2000.
The court heard Micevski, who had access to the company's two cheque accounts, transferred a total of $56,885 into the bank account she shared with her then husband in six transactions over a nine-day period in October 2000.
Giving evidence yesterday, Micevski said she had never intended to steal the money, however she had three children at school and her husband, a school principal, was a chronic gambler.
"It [gambling] happened every night and all day Saturday," she said. "It created a lot of financial strain - our account was always overdrawn."
The court heard at the time Micevski was also struggling to repay money she owed stemming from a previous fraud conviction dating back to 1993.
She attended Griffith District Court on October 16, 2000, and was ordered to provide a $16,000 cheque to cover the outstanding amount from the 1993 charges. She did so but later cancelled the cheque before it could be processed. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
She was apprehended in February 2001 and again came before the court. The judge this time ordered her to pay $1000 on the spot and $200 a fortnight.
Fronting Wollongong District Court yesterday, Micevski, who said she had moved to the area so her son could attend university, admitted not only had she failed to pay the fortnightly repayments relating to the first fraud convictions but had very little recollection of receiving such directions. She was unable to repay any of the money.
Judge Paul Conlon accepted Micevski did not have the capacity to repay the funds. He noted the long period of time since the offences, her depression at the time and struggle with her husband's addiction.
He ordered her to perform 200 hours of community service.