Bank worker who stole $400,000 remanded for sentence

Jenna Lee Robinson.
Jenna Lee Robinson.
A Queenstown bank worker has admitted stealing more than $400,000 from the bank where she worked, spending the money on a house and overseas holidays.

Former ANZ Bank worker Jenna Lee Robinson (29) was convicted of six theft-related charges when she appeared in the Queenstown District Court yesterday.

Robinson, who pleaded guilty to five charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and one charge of dishonestly accessing a computer system, was remanded on bail for sentencing on May 19.

Prosecuting Sergeant Ian Collin said Robinson created 16 fictitious accounts at the Queenstown CBD branch where she worked for six years.

She loaded them with loans and overdrafts, ranging from $12,000 to $120,000, between August 2010 and July 2013, taking in total $402,386.

Robinson then transferred the money to her personal accounts and used it to pay the $115,000 deposit on her $575,000 Arthurs Point home, a five-week holiday to Canada, a month-long trip to Japan, holidays within New Zealand and home furnishings.

She also paid off credit card debts and hire purchase agreements.

''The defendant's actions were well planned and very deliberate,'' Sgt Collin said.

Robinson was business banking relationship manager at the Camp St branch before resigning in August last year to become commercial manager at another Queenstown financial institution.

Sgt Collin said ANZ's Asset Recovery Management team in November 2013 reviewed a customer file that had a home loan in arrears.

The review identified the bank did not hold a house as security for the loan as it should have, and then found other discrepancies.

An internal investigation revealed Robinson had used her staff access code to access the ANZ bank computer network and set up the fictitious accounts.

''The defendant also transferred money between the fictitious accounts in an effort to show they were active and to stop the loans going into arrears and ... coming to another staff member's attention,'' Sgt Collin said.

She made small cash deposits using ANZ Bank fast deposit envelopes and was caught on CCTV on December 3 depositing $630 to one account into the fast deposit slot at the branch.

For payments into her own accounts, she used the bank's electronic payments systems, getting unwitting staff members to approve the payments.

Defence counsel Nic Soper said Robinson was co-operating with the bank on civil proceedings to recover the funds. Robinson would undergo a preliminary psychological assessment to address issues surrounding her level of culpability.

Judge Christina Cook ordered a full pre-sentence report.