September 4, 2020
By Caity Roach (née Witucki)
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday—Bank Officer Commits Fraud to Fund TV Shopping Habit
Former bank officer, Annette Marie Granic, has been found guilty of defrauding nearly $130,000 from her employer, Credit Union Australia, and using the majority of those funds to purchase products advertised on television shopping channels.
According to court testimony, Granic was a highly trusted employee who had worked her way up within the bank to the position of operations officer. However, in 2014 she began using her position to defraud her employer. According to prosecution, Granic convinced unwitting staff to divert bank funds into her personal accounts while taking substantial and significant steps to hide the transactions.
“It was sustained, calculated and sophisticated conduct, including recruiting others within the organization to assist you and using other computers to do it,” said Judge Rowan Jackson at the sentencing hearing. “While CUA had promoted her, Granic had repaid that by systematically taking money and falsifying records.”
When Granic gained access to the funds, she spent some of the money on food for her family and team members, but most of the funds went toward shopping on television channels.
At trial, Granic’s defense counsel argued that under normal circumstances she “would not park in a wrong space or pinch a supermarket grape.” However, she had been under stress from caring for her partner of 17 years who was often unable to work.
After considering psychological reports, the Judge accepted that Granic might find prison more difficult than it would be for others and sentenced her to four years’ jail. Granic has not yet been able to repay any of the money.