Bride stole from boss to pay for $60k wedding
A woman swindled almost $44,000 from her employer because she was stressed about being able to afford her lavish wedding, a court has heard.
Courtney Beaumont Bell, 27, of Caboolture, had worked as the payroll officer for Buccini Transport for four years when she began defrauding the company to pay for her $60,000 wedding.
The Brisbane District Court was told Bell stole $43,375 from the Hemmant business by cashing out more than 200 days of leave and superannuation she was not entitled to between June 2017 and July 2018.
She also falsely claimed $2000 in tolls.
Director Paul Buccini said he was hurt "to the core" when he discovered the fraud which had put his family-owned business in financial and emotional stress.
"It destroyed me when I found out," Mr Buccini said outside court.
"You live your life trusting people."
Bell, who was supported in court by her husband, paid the money back this morning, handing over a cheque for $43,375 before pleading guilty to three counts of fraud.
Defence barrister David Crews said Bell was a low risk of reoffending because the fraud had been "situational" and a result of the financial stress of her wedding.
"She had paid deposits for a wedding and then found herself in financial difficulty to meet the financial obligations for the wedding which ultimately cost $60,000," Mr Crews said.
"My client and her husband tried to pay for the wedding themselves, they felt it was important rather than asking their parents for assistance."
Prosecutor Sarah Dennis described the fraud as "calculated" and said Bell had taken advantage of her trusted position as the sole employee with access to the company's online accounting system.
Judge Vicki Loury QC accepted a psychologist's report that Bell was unlikely to reoffend and that she was ashamed and sorry for her offending.
But she said it was nothing more than greed that had motivated Bell to steal from her employer.
"Your motivation therefore was not as a result of any need, but rather greed on your part," Judge Loury said.
Bell was sentenced to three years' jail, but will be released from prison after serving six months behind bars.
After the hearing, Mr Buccini said he was glad justice had been served and he hoped Bell's sentence would help ensure the same thing "didn't happen to someone else".
Originally published as Bride stole from boss to pay for $60k wedding