Bookkeeper makes off with $28k from boss
A LUXURY car wholesale business closed the day it was discovered its bookkeeper had been siphoning off funds for personal use, a court was told.
Christine Mary Page, also known as Christine Mary Loudon, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court yesterday to one count of fraud.
Page, 65, used her position as bookkeeper at the Baird Group to pay herself and another employee $28,000 between 2005 and June 2013.
The court was told Page made a single $10,000 transaction to herself in 2005.
Crown prosecutor Matt Hynes said Page then transferred a total of $18,000 to another employee, Royden Mauger, between June 2010 and June 2013. Mr Mauger has never been charged for his alleged role in the fraud.
"As bookkeeper she was given a large amount of trust and no one was looking over her shoulder," Mr Hynes said.
Baird Group was a wholesale dealer in luxury European cars and was owned by well-known businessman David Baird.
More than a decade ago Mr Baird, who is now retired, and son Matthew sold their telco Cellular One to the AAPT group for well in excess of $20 million.
Judge David Kent sentenced Page to 12 months in prison, to be suspended for two years.
Page's barrister Alastair McDougall said Page had paid back $78,000 after Mr Baird launched civil proceedings.
In 2015 she was ordered to pay more than $600,000 in damages.
She only managed to pay back $78,000 before being declared bankrupt.
Outside of court, Mr Baird, who now lives in Paradise Waters, said he closed the business the day he heard the money had been taken.
He said he was pleased a criminal conviction had been recorded.