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Aussie Mom Stole to Pay off Gambling Debts

19 June 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Herald Sun: "A gambling mother of three who lost more than $500,000 at Crown casino in less than four years was given a jail term yesterday for theft.

"Leanne Allmark turned to crime when her plans to win her way out of massive debts failed.

"Yesterday she pleaded guilty in the Preston Magistrates' Court to stealing $57,000 from her employer.

"Allmark, 41, of St Kilda, was jailed for eight months in 1991 when she faced similar fraud charges.

"…Defence lawyer Michael Kuzilny told the court yesterday Allmark's gambling problems started in 1998 when she won a $40,000 Harley Davidson motorbike at Crown.

"Mr Kuzilny said Allmark and her husband, Michael, sold the motorbike and shifted to Noosa, Queensland, where they bought a shop in ritzy Hastings St.

"…The court was told Allmark would often come to Melbourne to buy stock for their shops. During the trips she would also secretly visit Crown.

"…Mr Kuzilny said several big wins at the casino gave Allmark the impression she could gamble her way out of debt.

"But Mr Kuzilny said her growing gambling addiction and a collapsed business forced Allmark's husband to leave his wife and children in mid-2001.

"The court heard Allmark was employed as an accountant with the Stafford Group -- a Preston menswear manufacturer -- after finding the job through an employment agency.

"From January this year, Allmark forged signatures on cheques from the Stafford Group.

"…Police investigations later found the cheques -- totalling $57,091.12 -- were deposited in Bank of Melbourne accounts in the name of Allmark and her daughters.

"…Magistrate Max Cashmore said Allmark should have been banned from Crown…"

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