Gambling addiction can have its serious repercussions. There are individuals who are addicted to gambling that even risk committing a crime just for them to feed their compulsion. According to studies, there are around 200,000 Australians who are affected by gambling problems. In addition to this, lottery games are the common type of gambling played by those suffering from gambling problems.
But what if you are going to go overboard for your gambling compulsion? Are willing to spend some time in jail mainly because you want to gamble? Donna Healey is an example of such. She is a gambling-addicted Queensland grandmother who was able to steal more than $1 million from a disability service in order to fund her compulsion. Unfortunately for her, the judge didn’t take it easy on her as she has been sentenced to a good number of years in prison.
866 Bank Transactions
Donna Healey is a long-term employee of the Horizons Respite and Recreations Association. Throughout the years 2009 to 2013, she was able to make 866 bank transfers that have a total of $1.09 million from the organization’s account to hers.
She has been sentenced to 8 years imprisonment by Judge Deborah Richards. In order to get the money, Healey labeled payments with names that made these transactions seem legitimate according to the Brisbane District Court.
According to Judge Deborah Richards, “As a result of the fraud, funds were not available for essential equipment, particular equipment which enabled some severely disabled people to communicate”. She added that “it was calculated. It was over a long period of time”.
Donna Healey pleaded guilty and faced jail time after she was sacked in 2013 once her fraud was detected. Not only did she finance her gambling habit, she also stole money in order to finance her holidays, her husband’s business expenses and a pay-TV account.
Healey worked for the non-profit center for the last 15 years. During her last four years with the company, she worked as an administration manager. The care organization that was based in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane functions to help individuals with severe disabilities. Unfortunately, due to the amount of money that was stolen by Healey, important communications equipment weren’t purchased.
She was referred to by Judge Deborah Richards as “callous”. Judge Deborah Richards mentioned that “The people involved were very vulnerable members of our society that you’ve taken money from”.
More than Just Gambling
According to Crown prosecutor Melissa Wilson, “Many B-payments were made to companies such as flight center, Foxtel, numerous insurance companies, along with general household bills and tax payments”. In addition to this, Healey spent around $2,500 a week on poker machines.
According to the report of a psychologist at an earlier court date, Healey was diagnosed of having “significant gambling problem” which impacted her capacity to control her behavior. According to the court, she was able to repair more than $200,000 that she stole after the fraud was uncovered in 2013. However, she will still be facing consequences of her actions. She will be eligible for parole by September 2019.