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Banker Stole $1 Million for Shopping, Gambling

12 March 2002

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Australian Associated Press: "Catherine Asley was a model employee who became the National Australia Bank's "personal banker of the year" in 1995.

"What the NAB didn't know was that she was secretly stealing from the bank, getting more than $1 million (US$ 520,535) before she was caught.

"…Asley, 35, began stealing from the NAB to fund an obsession with `comfort shopping' and a gambling habit, the court was told.

"A year before winning her award, she had already embarked on a criminal scheme of fraud and theft involving the creation of false accounts in which she took $1,125,511 (US$585,882).

"…She also paid off credit card debts for friends and relatives -- and, when questioned by police, estimated she had blown up to $160,000 (US$83,287) on pokie machines at the Crown Casino and other gambling venues.

"Asley, of Concord West, Sydney, began stealing to pay for her `comfort shopping' and her gambling habit when she became depressed after her marriage broke down, said the judge.

"Asley pleaded guilty to 16 charges including theft and obtaining property by deception…"

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