Wednesday May 8,2013 : AUSSIE GAMBLING ADDICT BLEW A$ 8 MILLION AT ONLINE CASINO
Problem gambler shocked when extent of her wrongdoing was exposed
Wendy Hope Johnson, a fifty-year-old Australian woman and avid online gambler, has admitted guilt in a shocking case of internet gambling addiction which saw her embezzle almost A$ 8 million from her hotel group employers.
Jobson's defence claimed that she was out of touch with reality when she used internet banking to siphon money from her employer on 1410 occasions over five years, and then spent it on internet gambling at the Playtech-powered internet casino 21Nova.com, and on other personal purchases including a car, house payments and a corporate box at the Etihad stadium.
So valued was her business, a court was told this week, that the online casino operator doubled her promotional credits.
Psychiatrist Sylvia Solinski told the Supreme Court judge that Jobson has at least 10 different personalities, and said that she was unsure which one was dominant at the time of the wrongdoing. The psychiatrist said she had no doubt whatsoever that Jobson had dissociative identity disorder.
Originally charged with 1410 individual counts of theft, Jobson pleaded guilty to six counts yesterday, admitting she stole $7.8 million over five years from the Koroneos hotel group.
The owner of the group said that he was alerted to some unusual transactions by his bank manager in September 2011. Confronted with the evidence, Jobson broke down and confessed, he said, but begged him not to go to the police.
He felt betrayed by a trusted employee who had worked for his company for the past 16 years, during which he had treated her as a member of his family, he said, adding that before the thefts came to light he had thought the company was struggling with renovation expenses and rising pokie machine overheads.
Police investigators gave evidence that Jobson was cooperative and contrite, and had admitted that she would lose herself on the internet gambling site 21Nova.
She was shocked to hear the total sum she had stolen, they reported. Jobson told police she tried to win back her losses which she logged in a notebook so she could replace the money and would not be found out.
"One time I won $1 million," she told police investigators. "But they only paid you $20,000 every four days, so you can imagine sitting there waiting for the money to come back, and it's not coming, so you would keep gambling because why not? It's there. And I'd lose it."
The plea hearing continues.