Former Crown Casino retail store manager stole and resold luxury goods

By Noah Taylor Updated
ATO chases Crown for alleged $100m in unpaid GST

A former store manager at a Melbourne casino store stole thousands of dollars in products from his employer.

The Herald Sun reports that the former manager stole $21,000 worth of luxury goods from Guess Crown Casino.

Liam Turbett, 32, faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to faking Crown Reward points and dishonestly obtaining Guess Crown Casino property valued at $21,165.

Court documents revealed the former manager used the Crown Rewards program to pay multiple items using fake points, including three t-shirts and two purses, which he later sold on eBay.

In CCTV seen by police, Turbett bought a Heat-Sealed Puffa Jacket valued at $299.95 using the fraudulent points.

He later refunded it for cash while he counted the till.

According to court documents, an error in the Guess sale system allowed the then manager to go undetected and steal $21,156 worth of goods between September 2017 and December 2018.

In an interview with police in July 2019 he admitted to making fake transactions in store to return some items for cash and selling others online through eBay.

The Guess products sold on eBay were worth $15,000.

Documents reveal he told police he was using the extra cash to help pay everyday bills.

The court heard he had moved to Australia from the UK after meeting his partner and started working as the Guess store manager a short time later.

He was fired from the Crown Casino shop on Christmas Eve in 2018 and now lives with his partner in Mildura and continues to work in retail.

Turbett has been sentenced to a 15-month community corrections order under supervision, 150 hours of community work and ordered to repay $21,165 to Guess.

RSL manager who stole from pokies avoids conviction

A Victorian woman who stole money from an RSL poker machine said she was diagnosed with a mental illness that led to her thieving.

The Herald Sun reported in February that Georgina Connell was sentenced to a 24-month adjourned undertaking to be of good behaviour at Heidelberg Magistrates’ Court on January 18, having pleaded guilty to stealing and falsifying a record.

Ms Connell was Watsonia RSL sub-branches gaming manager when she siphoned $13,000 out of the business between June 2018 and May 2019 by pocketing coins intended for the gaming business.

The dodgy employee took the coins instead of adding them to the pokie machines, then updated the sub-branches online system so the records appeared as if the machines did contain the cash.

For the 12 months she was committing the crimes, 12 to 14 of the club’s 103 gaming machines were each found to have contained $300-600 less cash than records showed.

Ms Connell’s deception was uncovered when a fellow employee found her notebook in May 2019, which contained notes about which machines had the falsified records.

The Coburg woman then confessed to the crimes when she was confronted.

Ms Connell told police she had used the stolen cash to pay off her credit card bills and debts, but when she fronted court, her lawyer said she had been diagnosed with kleptomania, as well as depression and anxiety.

The lawyer said the diagnosis of kleptomania was very rare, with Magistrate Ian Alger agreeing it wasn’t often seen before the courts.

It is a condition when individuals are compelled to steal, even when there is little to gain.

The lawyer said Ms Connell didn’t know why she had stolen the money, with the theft purely motivated by the condition.

“She wasn’t doing this willingly, this was almost a drive to commit this offending, of a compulsive nature, of an obsessive nature,” the lawyer said.

It was submitted that Ms Connell had done everything she could to remedy the situation since being caught, having undertaken monthly counselling and repaid the entire $13,000.

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