Woman stole $110k to pay for husband's drug habit

JACINTA Rachael Murphy was "surprised" when she heard she had stolen more than $100,000 from companies across Central Queensland.

Using fraudulent tax invoices, the 38-year-old gained funds during her employment as an administration officer at Energy Power System's (EPS) Rockhampton branch, between 2009 and 2011.

EPS supplies CAT vehicles, power generators and related equipment and parts.

An emotional Murphy pleaded guilty yesterday in the Rockhampton District Court to charges of fraud and attempted fraud.

Crown prosecutor Russell Hood said Murphy had issued tax invoices to customers, replacing the company's payment details with her own.

Customers, including the Gladstone Regional Council, Gladstone Ports Corporation and several mining companies, unknowingly paid those invoices straight into her bank account.

This amounted to $103,405.01 over the two years, a figure which shocked Murphy.

Mr Hood said Murphy also racked up $9,634.04 on a company credit card.

The company found out about the personal purchases and terminated her employment on February 28, 2011.

EPS was then contacted by Centrelink who advised them of some suspicious transactions.

A full audit of the company was carried out and Murphy was charged.

The court heard a further invoice of $9,477.42 was also issued by Murphy, but it wasn't credited to her account.

Defence barrister Jeff Clarke said Murphy used the money to pay for her husband's drug and alcohol habits, as well as a house (see accompanying story).

He said her husband did not work and he had previously forced her to engage in prostitution.

The court heard Murphy suffered from a mental disorder.

Murphy was sentenced to four years jail, to be released on probation after 12 months.



Some of the transactions Murphy received payment for:

$15,117.36 from Jalgrid Mining Limited on June 24, 2010

$7,946.78 from Gladstone Reef Hotel on December 9, 2010

$5,405.68 from New Mining Pty Ltd on January 11, 2011

$1,746.24 from Gladstone Regional Council January 21, 2010

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