A MARANGAROO mother-of-three has managed to escape prison for what has been deemed a “sophisticated” stealing operation.
In just over seven months last year, Tasha Lee Glasgow (31) stole almost $21,000 from her employer Tradelink.
In her position as branch manager, she would refund customer sales and deposit the money into her personal bank account.
Then to “balance the books and avoid looking suspicious”, she would contact the supplier for a warranty replacement.
The police prosecutor said at Joondalup Magistrate Court’s on Friday morning that Glasgow would also frequently use other staff members’ log in details to cover her activity
However, in late October the Westpac fraud department notified Tradelink of suspicious activity.
Glasgow pleaded guilty to 51 charges of stealing as a servant from March 6 to October 27, 2018 totalling $20,909.24.
“This is an exceptionally serious offence and a clear breach of trust,” the prosecutor said.
“She was not just any employee but a manager… so she had great sway in the company and significant trust.”
He argued this was not a one off but a “consistent and planned event”.
“She didn’t dip her hand in the cash till, it was a clear plan that had forethought,” he said.
“She had mechanisms to cover it up and breached her colleagues’ trust by using their log in details.”
Her lawyer said Glasgow was facing relationship difficulties with her partner at the time who had become unemployed following a workplace accident and she was the sole income earner trying to support two young children and her partner.
“She was facing significant financial difficulty and insurmountable debt,” he said.
“She did not intend to abuse her position of trust and intended to pay all the money back.”
In asking for leniency and a spent conviction, Glasgow’s lawyer said she had immediately admitted to all allegations and since then had not been able to find work because she had to report the offence.
“She is a young mum of three children aged 3, 2 and five months and her current partner was recently made redundant,” he said.
“This was the first instance of this type of offence… and she has no serious criminal history.”
He said she was extremely remorseful and understood her actions were “seen as an act of dishonesty from a person in a trusted position”.
He said Glasgow had been a Tradelink employer for four years prior without incident.
Magistrate Sandra De Maio asked if Glasgow had attempted to seek help or financial advice or contact the bank to reduce or suspend mortgage repayments.
Her lawyer said she “tried everything” but was “forced into a corner she couldn’t get out of”.
However, the police prosecutor believed she had “other avenues to address the issues” like selling items.
He said Glasgow not being able to find work was a consequence of her own actions and did not warrant a spent conviction.
Ms De Maio also asked if Glasgow had attempted to pay back any of the money, which she had and estimated to be about $2000.
Ms De Maio acknowledged Glasgow “put her hand up straight away” which “saved the court and investigation significant costs and effort” but also that it wasn’t of her own accord.
She said it was a “significant abuse of trust” which “bumps up the seriousness”.
“It was a relatively sophisticated process – not in the way you obtained the money but in how you covered it up,” she said.
She said there were some factors “heavily” in Glasgow’s favour including her remorse, early admission of guilt and some attempt to pay the money back, but a message needed to be sent that “if you’re in a position of trust you should not abuse it”.
“The company trusted you at a high level and you abused it many times,” she said.
Ms De Maio sentenced Glasgow to 18 months in jail, suspended for 18 months.
In regards to compensation, Ms De Maio believed Glasgow did “not have the means” to pay back what she stole.
“That doesn’t mean there won’t be civil proceedings,” she said.
She said she could not consider a spent conviction.