A 45-year-old Blayney woman with a gambling problem was sentenced to four years in prison in Bathurst Local Court after pleading guilty to more than 50 fraud charges.
Jacqueline Millie Brearley, of Palmer Street, Blayney, will be eligible for release on September 29, 2016.
Magistrate Roger Prowse told Ms Brearley she was a practiced hand at ripping people off as hard and as fast as she could, adding that her crimes showed a significant degree of sophistication.
He said the accused claimed she had a gambling addiction concerning poker machines and he believed that is where the money, more than $30,000 of it, went.
The money was obtained fraudulently from HCF and Medicare.
She also redirected money paid to Clark Tanks into her own bank account.
The offences occurred between April 2010 and March 21, 2013.
The court was told Ms Brearley attended Medicare on 13 separate occasions and HCF on 52 occasions where she presented falsified receipts to obtain a financial advantage.
It was also told that as a clerk with Clark Tanks she redirected a client payment of $5555 into her own bank account. Ms Brearley, who was self represented, said she didn’t know what to say except that she was truly sorry for her actions. She said she would be happy to do community service.
The accused said she works full-time putting indigenous youth in work and has a stable home life.
“There is no other penalty available to the court other than a significant custodial sentence so the public can be protected from an organised criminal like you,” Mr Prowse said.
He said although she pleaded guilty it was nowhere near at the first opportunity.
He noted there were so many adjournments of the case, the file had been marked ‘no further adjournments’.
Despite this, the defendant had tried for another adjournment.
Mr Prowse said just before the accused came to court on the HCF and Medicare matters she secured employment at Clark Tanks.
On March 21 this year, while in that position, she prepared a quote for a Sydney couple and gave them her personal banking details, resulting in them depositing $5555 into her own account. Mr Prowse said this aggravated the matters against her.
“You defrauded Clark Tanks and left the victims in Sydney out of pocket and without their tank, delaying the construction of their house,” Mr Prowse said.
The magistrate said the accused appeared before the court in 2009 on fraud charges and was given the maximum amount of leniency by the court which imposed a suspended prison sentence in the form of a Section 9 bond.
“Obviously this had no impact on you whatsoever,” Mr Prowse said.
“You went out and ripped off, as hard and as fast as you could, anyone you could entreat to trust you. You tried to pull the wool over my eyes.”