Katrina Vilma Wessling did not gamble, smoke or take drugs but used the money she stole from family owned business Bluestar Caktex at Blacksoil over 15 months to February 2014 for living expenses.
Katrina Vilma Wessling did not gamble, smoke or take drugs but used the money she stole from family owned business Bluestar Caktex at Blacksoil over 15 months to February 2014 for living expenses. Trevor Veale

Woman caught stealing $40k from Ipswich family business

A WOMAN who stole more than $40,000 from her Ipswich employer had nothing to show for the cash but "a couple of cats and dogs and a bird".

Katrina Vilma Wessling did not gamble, smoke or take drugs but used the money she stole from family owned business Bluestar Caktex at Blacksoil over 15 months to February 2014 for living expenses.

She did not have any assets but her pets, trappings of wealth, luxury items or means to repay the money after she was caught.

When confronted about the missing cash in January 2014 Wessling, 55, tried to cover up the crime by telling her employer and the police she lost three days worth of takings when she left the money on top of her car or by making up excuses like she was too busy to do the daily banking.

The site manager was unable to prove she had lost the money or explain where $40207.10 had disappeared to. She was forced to rely on others to look after her pets after she was jailed for the crime in Ipswich District Court on Thursday.

The court heard the fraud she committed was part of a scheme called 'lapping' in which money was taken from daily banking to cover up previous banking losses.

The court heard Wessling had an antipathy towards her employer despite having worked at the business for a substantial amount of time and the owners reporting she was a hard working employee.

Defence lawyer Stephen Kissick said despite Wesslings's bank statements showing she withdrew most of her pay at hotel ATMs, she did not have a gambling addiction.

"I wish I was able to stand up for my client and say she had a gambling problem but she doesn't. She does not drink or gamble or take drugs," he said. "She has no reasonable prospect of restitution.

"She has no trappings of luxury, she's got a couple of dogs, a couple of cats and a bird, that's her plot in life." Judge Dennis Lynch said but for the theft, Wessling had no criminal history.

Wessling pleaded guilty to one count of stealing by clerks or servants and was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment suspended after eight months for three years.


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