Guilty plea to fraud

A WOMAN who defrauded her Yamba-based employer of more than $42,000 appeared in Maclean Local Court on Tuesday facing 25 fraud charges.

Grace Conway, 29, of Maclean, pleaded guilty to using business accounting software MYOB to transfer 25 amounts of money into her personal bank account -money that should have been transferred to a business account in the name of Malamit Development Management P/L.

Malamit is a property development company part-owned by well-known Yamba businessman Mark Mitchell.

Police facts tendered before the court stated Conway altered bank account numbers to match her own account to defraud $42,572.41 from Malamit.

The 25 transactions occurred between March and June this year until another Malamit employee caught Conway out.

On June 23, the largest individual transaction of $15,287.25 was noticed by a fellow staff member who reported it to management.

A subsequent audit of business records in MYOB discovered Conway's 25 fraudulent transactions.

Conway told police she stole the money to use for her own day-to-day expenses and intended to pay the money back.

Police facts stated Conway had already repaid $25,906.41 to Mr Mitchell's business and still owed $16,666.

Conway's matters were adjourned to February 14, 2012 at Maclean Local Court.

She was ordered to participate in forum sentencing over the matters.

The NSW Attorney General department's lawlink website states that forum sentencing brings together an offender, their victim(s), and other people affected by a crime at a "Forum".

The aim is to help repair harm to the victim and the community, and reduce the offender's likelihood of re-offending.

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