A woman who stole more than $940,000 from a Hobart vet to fund her addiction to a gambling game has lost an appeal against the severity of her prison sentence.
Rachel Naomi Perri, 48, was jailed in December for six years after making 475 fraudulent transactions from her employer, Tasmanian Veterinary Services, between 2016 and 2019.
She stole $940,221.47 from the business and also racked up $24,218.08 on a credit card she obtained fraudulently.
Rachel Naomi Perri, 48, was in December jailed for six years after making 475 fraudulent transactions from her employer Tasmanian Veterinary Services between 2016 and 2019 which totalled $940,221.47
Tasmania’s Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday dismissed Perri’s appeal against the length of the sentence and the non-parole period of three-and-a-half years.
Her lawyer Greg Barns SC argued Perri’s moral culpability was reduced because her gambling disorder was of an ‘extreme’ magnitude.
The Facebook game, Heart of Vegas, involves purchasing virtual coins or credits which can never be turned into real money.
Mr Barns said Perri would set up the game so it would play automatically overnight and then wake up in the morning and continue.
‘The game is readily available on the internet.It is an extraordinary game, there is no money to be earned or won,’ he said.
Lawyers for the Crown said Perri had committed fraud over a prolonged period using a sophisticated degree of planning and https://annavegancafe.com/ deceit and had breached the trust of her employer.
Perri also racked up $24,218.08 on a credit card she obtained fraudulently to play a Facebook gambling game in which the player purchases virtual coins or credits which can never be turned into real money
The court was told Perri only stopped offending when her position was made redundant and the jail term was well within a range available to the sentencing judge.
After several minutes of deliberation Justice Alan Blow said the three-judge panel was unanimous in the view that the sentence was not manifestly excessive.
In her sentencing remarks, Justice Tamara Jago said Perri, who has a severe gambling disorder, could not explain why she played the game when there was no prospect of monetary gain.
Perri concealed the fraud in various ways, including making payments from the business to creditors but changing the bank account number to accounts belonging to her.
After several minutes of deliberation Justice Alan Blow said the three-judge panel was unanimous in the view that the sentence was not manifestly excessive, so Perri will have to serve her six year jail sentence
The illegal activity was not picked up by external accountants who reviewed the vet’s accounts at the end of each financial year.
The business discovered anomalies in transactions in August 2019 and undertook a substantial audit.
Perri made full admissions during a formal interview with police before ultimately pleading guilty to 25 counts of computer-related fraud.
Justice Jago noted Perri had expressed remorse, had strong character references and was addressing her addiction through therapy and other means.