A Filipino national who stole $180,000 from his employer, the Toyota Dealership at Albion Park Rail, will have to pay back $100,000 and complete 200 hours of community service.
Victorio Godoy was sentenced in Wollongong District Court on 17 counts of dishonesty and one count of embezzlement after he admitted in June to defrauding his employer.
Godoy, 30, came to the Illawarra on a sponsored work visa to work as an accountant at the dealership and earned a wage of $65,000.
But at the same time he was dipping into the company's finances, ultimately siphoning $180,000 over 15 months into accounts he controlled.
Godoy's modus operandi was to use the names of genuine customers as aliases on three bank accounts belonging to him.
In May this year, Godoy confessed to his employer about part of his operation, claiming he needed the money to pay for an expensive operation for his sick mother in the Philippines.
Investigations by Illawarra Toyota and police uncovered further fraudulent transactions, as well as Godoy embezzling $20,000 in cash that Godoy was tasked to deliver to St George Shellharbour.
Sentencing Godoy in Wollongong Local Court, Magistrate Mark Douglass said Godoy had broken the law "in a very fundamental and serious way".
Mr Douglass classified the offending as in the mid-range of seriousness and that they involved a "breach of trust" between Godoy and his employer.
However, noting Godoy's admission to his offending and his lack of any criminal record, Mr Douglass said Godoy was unlikely to reoffend and committed the offences to support his parents in the Philippines, rather than out of greed.
"I accept that there was some personal satisfaction and kudos gained by being a family member who could assist in a time of financial need, regardless of the motivation, this is serious criminal behaviour."
Mr Douglass sentenced Godoy to a 20 month term of imprisonment, to be served in the community.
Godoy will have to be of good behaviour and complete 200 hours of community service.
"A sentence of imprisonment will send a clear message to you and other professionals who are tempted to breach the trust that is given during their employment."