Calculated: How a Gympie mum swindled her boss out of $136k
GAIL Maree Gear had been with Gympie's Wood Industries Pty Ltd for only three weeks when she first swindled them out of their first lot of money.
It was the start of a staggering 16 month run of "calculated" fraudulent activity in which the then-53-year-old Jones Hill woman stole more than $136,000 from the company, which runs DynaTimber.
"It was brazen straight from the beginning," Crown prosecutor Lara Soldi told Gympie District Court this week.
Ms Soldi said Gear used her position in charge of the company's payroll to swipe the cash by way of 47 fraudulent transactions from September 2013 to February 2015.
These included multiple payments to false creditors.
"All of these payments … were made into a number of accounts in the name of her and her husband,," Ms Soldi said.
This money was then "used quickly"; either transferred in large sums to another account or used to pay bills.
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Gear's crimes were only caught when the company hired someone to review its finances.
He identified "irregularities", and in January 2015 he called Gear to ask about three of the payments.
She attributed some of the payments to bonuses for her husband, but was overall "vague and entirely unhelpful".
The company complained to police in August that year.
The court heard Gear's case took five years to resolve owing to health concerns; this included a referral to a mental health ward and a recent diagnosis of early onset dementia.
Gear's lawyer said there was "no suggestion" of any connection between her health and her offences.
Gear's family tendered letters of support for her to the court and sat silently in the gallery as the 59-year-old mother pleaded guilty to two fraud charges leaving Judge Glen Cash to rule the only appropriate sentence was jail for her "calculated" and "persistent" crimes.
Mr Cash sentenced Gear to four-and-a-half years jail; it will be suspended after she has served 15 months, with the balance suspended for another four-and-a-half years.