News

Manager given jail for childcare centre fraud

A SOUTHERN Downs man who defrauded a community childcare centre out of more than $20,000 will spend time behind bars.

Clifton man Brett Noel Bender faced Warwick District Court yesterday charged with fraud as an employee.

Between March 2007 and June 2012, Bender, who was the office manager at the Treasure Island Clifton Community Childcare Association Incorporated, used the association's credit card to purchase personal items worth $22,000 in total.

The items ranged from mobile phones to personal care items like shaving cream and many other electrical items.

Crown prosecutor Kathleen Millican told the court 49-year-old Bender held a position with a high level of trust and was in charge of all the financial comings and goings.

"He took many steps to be the only person in the office, he worked unsupervised; this was a small community centre," she said.

"If anyone in the centre wanted something they had to go to him.

"He did this fraud with sophistication - the card was cleared by a monthly account. There were issues surrounding how he attained the card in the first place."

Mrs Millican continued to tell the court Bender was a good book-keeper.

"He had many folders - all of the fraudulent little transactions were sprinkled through the legitimate folders," she said.

"Even though the centre was audited, it only came to police attention after questions were starting to be asked at the centre around June 2012.

"Bender felt pressured to have the books audited, he took the books to an accountant in Toowoomba and then resigned."

Mrs Millican said the small not-for-profit institution had suffered great hardship and hadn't recovered due to the long period of time when Bender was offending.

"His motivation was not need, it was greed," she said.

Defence lawyer Robbie Davies explained to the court the initial Crown case started at $106,000 and ended up at $22,000.

"Mr Bender has a wife and a young family," he said.

"He's got no criminal history and has held solid work for the past 30 years.

"He is an auxiliary firefighter in Allora and he will suffer from the embarrassment and be punished after being written up in the local paper in such a small area."

Mr Davies said Bender offered restitution.

Judge Gregory Koppenol said just this year parliament had removed jail as a last resort for these types of offences.

"It's a very serious offence, charged with fraud as an employee for a sum of $22,000," he said.

"There were at least 160 fraudulent transactions for items used for personal use.

"Your defence lawyer provided no excuse and all I can see is that you were greedy."

Mr Koppenol said the offence affected at least 80 families in the region.

"The centre remains under hardship, you preyed on this childcare centre, it was a significant breach of trust, these types of manager roles depend on honesty," he said.

"This will not be tolerated and the sentence must deter you from doing it again and send a message to the community and I believe a term in prison must be served."

Bender was sentenced to three years jail, eligible for parole in five months on December 22, 2014.

Bender will also pay $22,000 restitution within the next month.

Topics:  childcare fraud jail warwick district court



Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

THE last season of GoT finally uttered the words we’ve been waiting six seasons to hear and now that the weather has cooled down in Brisbane, “winter is here.”

Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

Queensland's Gallery of Modern Art always has a fun, exciting and interesting exhibition on show for the whole family to enjoy.

YOU'D be mistaken in thinking Brisbane wasn't an arty city.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Woman charged with low range drink driving going to work

Police were involved in the Saturday night operation.

Police charge woman with low range drink driving on way to work

Game on at new arcade in Warwick

PLAY ON: Elizabeth Dennis gives the new arcade games at Video Ezy a shot.

New games arcade unveiled at Video Ezy

Woman flown to hospital after being stabbed in neck

Police are investigating.

Woman in hospital after being unlawfully wounded

Local Partners

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

JUST ahead of the premiere of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ve been given new details about what to expect from the eighth and final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Game on at new arcade in Warwick

PLAY ON: Elizabeth Dennis gives the new arcade games at Video Ezy a shot.

New games arcade unveiled at Video Ezy

Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home

LONG WALK HOME: Many festival goers opted to take a dangerous walk home due to transport difficulty following the Big Pineapple Festival in Woombye on Saturday.

Big Pineapple festival-goers have braved dangerous walks home

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

Sally Skelton and Bojesse Pigram pictured after their battle performance on The Voice.

Sunshine Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!