Ubet employee steals thousands from punters club
A FORMER Ubet employee has been jailed for stealing thousands of dollars from a Sunshine Coast punters club.
Golden Beach man Andre Leslie Francis Scott had never once in his 58 years been in trouble with the law... until this year.
His 15-year employment reign with the popular betting agency came crashing down due to a "mind-boggling" nine-month stealing spree.
He stole $12,000 from 24 members of the punting club from January to September this year.
Ubet management was conducting a routine audit when it was discovered the takings were under.
Scott confessed immediately and today he pleaded guilty to one theft and one stealing as a servant charges in the Caloundra Magistrates Court.
Police prosecutor sergeant Brendan Newman said the punters club in question was called the $10 Club, referencing how much each member bet weekly.
Sgt Newman said, to Scott's credit, he made a full confession to police and has already paid the restitution.
"He told police he married a Vietnamese national and the wedding costs were much higher than expected," Sgt Newman told the court.
"He said it 'ballooned out' and he continued to steal to pay for a range of things, bills, electricity, rates, her visa application, cost of living.
"He knew he was doing the wrong thing and he has been extremely remorseful."
Sgt Newman sought a prison sentence, but with "certainly" no actual time served.
Scott, who represented himself, admitted to feelings of relief when caught.
"It was getting so out of hand. Incredible it got to the extent it did," Scott told the court.
Magistrate Stephanie Tonkin said the secrecy of the crime and the trust placed by the punters was the most serious aspect.
"You were in so deep it is fortunate you were found out," the court heard.
"This is a substantial amount, and carried out in secret."
However, she deemed it "highly unlikely" Scott would commit a crime again and gave him a six-month sentence suspended for two years.
A conviction was recorded and he has since lost his job at the agency.