|Kim Faithfull, who stole $18,995,212 over a period five years from the Commonwealth Bank in Karratha clinched a small victory. |
To fund his gambling account with Darwin-based Internet bookmakers IASbet.com, at one stage was gambling $7 million in three months. Faithfull transferred cash from two accounts at his bank branch. The bank had no idea the money was missing, until he left a note for his staff confessing his crime. Later the fraud police conducted raids on IASbet premises as part of a probe into the US$19 million betting scam.
Faithfull was sentenced to five years on counts of theft to be served concurrently. However, Western Australia’s (WA) top prosecutor efforts to double the jail term and appeal against the five-year sentence handed in April 1998 failed.
WA's Director of Public Prosecutions Robert Cock said, ‘The sentencing District Court justice, Chief Judge Kevin Hammond, has erred by making the sentences concurrent.’
However, WA Supreme Court of Criminal Appeal headed by Justices Christine Wheeler and Carmel McClure and Chief Justice David Malcolm dismissed the appeal, saying the sentence was appropriate.
‘I am not persuaded that a different total sentence should have been imposed,’ said Justice McClure on the verdict.
The accused was more than happy. Faithfull's solicitor Matthew Bolton said, ‘It is an exceptionally good result. This decision reflects the immediate remorse shown by Faithfull together with his full and continuing cooperation with the bank and the authorities.'
‘My client is still co-operating with police in an attempt to reclaim some of the money stolen,’ added Bolton.