'Devious' fraud duped colleagues, bosses and her mum
A DECEITFUL devious rip-off artist stole from her colleagues and bosses and lied about having cancer, being pregnant and her parents undergoing surgery during a lengthy series of frauds that netted her $200,000 over six years.
Monique Alana James pleaded guilty to 15 fraud, stealing and falsifying record charges on Tuesday in Brisbane District Court.
"You are devious and dishonest," Judge Vicki Loury said, sentencing her to five years in jail.
"You find any way to defraud people - you are a deceitful woman who would stop so low as to deceive your own mother."
James ripped off Toll North in Bundaberg while she was employed there as an administration manager, supervising payroll and accounts.
The 33-year-old overpaid her husband who was employed by the company; directed another worker's pay into his account over six months; over-inflated accounts; and gave her mother's company free services worth more than $7000.
When some customers paid in cash, James pocketed the money and in one transfer stole $18,000.
The mother of one netted more than $34,000 before she was arrested and charged over these offences.
After failing to appear in court, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
She fled to Victoria where she was caught out again and sentenced on similar charges before moving back to Queensland.
During her time as an accounts manager with her new employer, a smash repair business in Cairns, she transferred money into her own bank account.
This included wages that her colleagues believed were being salary sacrificed on their behalf.
She doctored businesses invoices so customers unwittingly paid their bills to her.
She stole money through a government employment grants program that the business hoped to benefit from.
The thefts hit more than $126,000 and when her boss raised the issue with her, she blamed her predecessor for the frauds while claiming she had informed police about the crimes.
While in Cairns, she bought a house worth more than $1 million.
She paid a $10,000 deposit to the owner, signed the contracts and moved her elderly parents into the property.
She forged an REIQ certificate of title to prove to her parents that she had paid for the property in full.
The house owner pressed her for months for the rest of the cash, but she persistently refused to produce it.
Her lies to the owner included that she was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and that she was pregnant.
She also deflected from the issue by claiming her father was having heart surgery and her mother was having weight surgery.
With lost rent, the property fraud cost the owner more than $24,000.
James even duped a business into providing a $700 picnic to her using a fake document.
The court heard James had a lengthy history of fraudulent behaviour that included posing as a lawyer, a business owner and falsely claiming her stepfather was a judge.
Judge Loury said the money she stole was used to support James, her husband and their daughter.
She said James's crimes had a lasting impact on her victims.
"You caused anxiety and depression - one business owner believes you set out to ruin him," Judge Loury said.
With one year spent in prison on remand, James can now be released on parole.
She was not ordered to pay restitution due to an inability to repay the money. - NewsRegional