Jenna Lee Robinson at an earlier court appearance. Photo by
A Queenstown banker fought back tears as she was
sentenced for stealing more than $400,000 from her employer.
Jenna Lee Robinson (29) was jailed for two years and seven
months on six theft-related charges at the Queenstown
District Court yesterday.
Judge Michael Turner suppressed the name of the bank, where
she worked as a business banking relationship manager for six
Robinson created 16 fictitious accounts at the branch.
She then loaded them with loans and overdrafts from $12,000
to $120,000 between August 2010 and July 2013, totalling
Robinson transferred the money to her personal accounts and
used it to pay for the $115,000 deposit on her 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
Judge Michael Turner said: ''I consider the gravity of your
offending to be high, as is your culpability.
''There was an enormous breach of trust.
''The offending was systematic, carefully planned and spanned
a period of two years. It was sophisticated.''
Judge Turner said Robinson told police she took the money
initially as a test of the bank's security systems.
But she told a clinical psychologist she was ''bored'' with
her job and life in Queenstown, annoyed at her employers, did
not believe she would be caught and that the offending was
''fun'', Judge Turner said.
''Perhaps the best indication of your motivation can be found
by following the money,'' he said.
''All of it was for your personal benefit.''
The psychologist diagnosed her with a schizoid personality
disorder but it was not considered the cause of her
offending, Judge Turner said.
Robinson had not paid back a cent of the $400,000 before
handing an envelope full of $50 notes, totalling $500, to the
court yesterday, through her solicitor, Nic Soper.
It was all she had to her name and not intended as an insult
to the bank, Mr Soper said.
An auction of her home, valued at $700,000, became ''a fire
sale'' after photos were published by local media and
realised only $470,000, which covered the mortgage owed and
A family boat was sold for $17,000, almost exactly what was
owed on it.
Before going to prison, the former gifted student and
respected employee was living with her parents in Wellington.
Her fall from grace had been traumatic and unexpected, Mr
Robinson had resigned from the ''victim bank'' in August last
year and was caught when the Asset Recovery Management team
reviewed a customer file in arrears and found discrepancies.
An investigation found she had duped unwitting colleagues
into approving payments into her own accounts.
Crown solicitor Sarah McKenzie said: ''Her work colleagues
referred to being stunned and sickened by the offending.''
They felt guilty they did not spot the offending and were
angry they had been ''lied to and manipulated'', Ms McKenzie
On admitting the offence, Robinson had immediately lost her
senior management job with a different bank.
She was likely to be declared bankrupt within days and
realistically had no prospect of repaying the money, Mr Soper
Robinson pleaded guilty to five charges of theft by a person
in a special relationship and one charge of dishonestly
accessing a computer system.