Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Stolen Cash Vanishes; Jailed Woman wona[euro][TM]t Say Where Missing $282,000 Went

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Stolen Cash Vanishes; Jailed Woman wona[euro][TM]t Say Where Missing $282,000 Went

Article excerpt

Byline: JANINE HILL

A SUNSHINE Coast woman with no previous criminal record has been jailed for fleecing her boss and former friend of $282,000.

Melissa Jane Smits, 43, had been swindling money from Maroochydore-based Lindsay Consulting for six years before the thefts were uncovered in 2010 during a review of the businessas accounts.

The Maroochydore District Court heard yesterday that Mrs Smits, the office manager, had overpaid herself $127,000, and wrote cheques worth $155,000 to herself, her business and to cover other expenses.

Crown prosecutor Alex Stark said business owner Jason Lindsay had often signed blank cheques, so that Mrs Smits could pay bills in his absence.

Mr Stark said the fraud was discovered after Mr Lindsay became suspicious about the number of holidays she was taking.

Mrs Smitsa only motive for the crime appeared to be to fund a lifestyle for herself and her family, or agreed rather than needa, Mr Stark said.

She gave no further clues about where the money had gone to her defence counsel, Steve Courtney. …

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