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Bank Employee Gambles with Bank's Money

2 August 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Herald Sun: "For as little as $125 the National Australia Bank might have saved itself more than $1 million.

"After the financial monolith failed to do a police check on one of its new employees, the man repaid the bank's faith by stealing $1,199,800 over two years.

"In the County Court yesterday, compulsive gambler William Thomas Connellan, 44, was jailed for at least three years for the thefts -- the third time he had stolen from one of his employers.

"…Connellan had joined the bank in 1998 and the year after was moved to its financial services centre in Hawthorn.

"With control over about 1000 customers' loans, Connellan knew the system well and in January 2000 started his campaign of theft.

"Using false names and addresses, he made 54 loan applications over two years to finance his gambling.

"…The court heard Connellan gambled up to seven days a week with as many as 14 hours spent each day in front of poker machines.

"…The court was told Connellan, who pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and one count of false accounting, had three previous convictions for gambling-related fraud.

"…However, NAB never did a police background check, which cost about $125, and Connellan was able to join the bank…"

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