Examples of pokies addicts who have committed crimes


June 6, 2018

One of the worst things about the pokies is the way it creates first time criminals who are just trying to feed their addiction. Here are some examples.

Frank De Stefano: in March, 2001 the former Geelong mayor and accountant pleaded guilty to stealing $8m of clients' money between 1995 and April 2000. He gambled most of the money away at Crown Casino.

Kate Jamieson: a former loans officer at Preston stole $7.3 million from Bendigo Bank between July 2001 and May 2004. She was sentenced to at least four years behind bars after gambling it all away at Crown Casino.

Mark Standen: a senior criminal investigator in NSW, was arrested at his desk in Sydney for trying to import 600kg of pseudoephedrine to produce more than $120 million worth of ice. The NSW Crime Commissioner Phillip Bradley also had said that Standen had a gambling problem.

Brendan Sells: a former nightclub security manager was jailed for four months in January 2010, for stealing $35,852 from the club to fund his raging gambling habit. He served two months immediately and the remainder was suspended for 18 months.

David Vincent: was the payroll operations supervisor for Wesley Mission stealing more than $900,000 from its payroll over 5 years and using it to prop up his gambling habit.

Barbara Wells: a 39 year-old grandmother, she was sentenced to 18 months in jail for embezzling $545,222. A property manager with a Sydney property consulting firm, she blew it all after she became hooked on poker machines in 2006 after enduring violence at home.

Eve Elworthy: the 46 year-old embezzled more than $20,000 to feed her gambling addiction while working as the manager of the Warriwillah Post Office in NSW.

Susan Sykes: the 50 year-old, stole $170,000 over 17 months while working as an accounts clerk for the Midway Tavern at Elizabeth Downs in SA. The judge said that the woman had not been a gambler until she began playing poker machines in 2005. She received a suspended sentence and was ordered to do 120 hours of community service and is paying back the money at $60 per week.

Gary Wilson: was employed as a security guard to collect money from McDonald's restaurants across Ballarat. After 6 months on the job he stole $5000 to fund his gambling addiction. He was convicted and released on a 12-month community-based order with 150 hours of unpaid community work, and he was ordered to pay $5000 compensation.

Colin Carleton:
a former Bendigo Bank manager at Atherton in Queensland had been using the term deposit accounts of his customers to steal $3m to fund his addiction to online gambling and share market trading.

Vince Marinkovic: he stole more than $2.4 million from his employer to feed a pathological gambling addiction. He gave himself extra payments while working for Jotun paints from 1996-2002.

Lawrence Shaw: a compulsive pokies gambler was jailed for 6 years in 2008 for stealing more than $300,000 from the Sisters of Mercy charity.

Neville Fenn: judge over-turns jail sentence for former Illawarra TAFE teacher who under-stated income to draw Centrelink funds to feed pokies addiction.