A Queenstown banker has admitted stealing more than $400,000 to splurge on a house and long overseas holidays – which went undetected for three years.
Former ANZ Bank worker Jenna Lee Robinson was convicted of six theft-related charges at Queenstown District Court yesterday.
Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Robinson created 16 fictitious accounts at the Queenstown CBD branch where she’d worked for six years.
Robinson loaded them with loans and overdrafts from $12,000 to $120,000 between August 2010 and July 2013 totalling $402,386.
Robinson then transferred the money to her personal accounts and used it to pay the $115,000 deposit on her $575,000 Arthurs Point home, a five-week holiday to Canada, a month-long trip to Japan, holidays within New Zealand and home furnishings.
The 29-year-old also paid off credit card debts and higher purchase agreements.
Sergeant Collin said: “The defendant’s actions were well planned and very deliberate.”
Robinson was business banking relationship manager at the Camp Street branch before resigning in August last year to become commercial manager at another financial institution in Queenstown.
Sergeant Collin said in November 2013 ANZ’s Asset Recovery Management team reviewed a customer file that had a home loan in arrears.
The review identified the bank did not hold a house as security for the loan as it should have, and then found other discrepancies.
An internal investigation revealed Robinson had used her staff access code to access the ANZ bank computer network and set up the fictitious accounts.
Collin said: “The defendant also transferred money between the fictitious accounts in an effort to show they were active and to stop the loans going into arrears and thereby coming to another staff member’s attention.”
Robinson made small cash deposits using ANZ Bank fast deposit envelopes and was caught on CCTV on December 3 depositing $630 to one account into the fast deposit slot at the branch.
For payments into her own accounts, she used the bank’s electronic payments systems, getting other unwitting staff members to approve the payments.
Solicitor Nic Soper said his client was co-operating with the bank on civil proceedings to recover the funds.
Soper said she will undergo a preliminary psychological assessment to address issues surrounding her level of culpability.
Robinson, who pleaded guilty to five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and one charge of dishonestly accessing a computer system, was remanded on bail for sentencing on May 19.
Judge Christina Cook ordered a full pre-sentence report.