This week, the Western Australia District Court sentenced Neil Anthony Alessandrino to two years in jail, wholly suspended for 18 months, after earlier pleading guilty to gaining benefit by fraud.
Mr Alessandrino, a director at companies ASPL and Alessandrino Scivolo, had on 25 occasions between 21 July 2010 and 22 June 2012, stolen money amounting to $43,821 by submitting false invoices resulting in personal reimbursements. He has since repaid the full amount stolen.
Originally charged with 29 counts of stealing and fraud, negotiations with the state over the amount owed ultimately saw Mr Alessandrino entering a guilty plea against one rolled-up charge.
His lawyer noted that Mr Alessandrino had surrendered “his CPA, certified practising accountant registration, he surrendered his public practising certificate and he surrendered his registration as a superannuation auditor” in light of pleading guilty.
Judge Belinda Lonsdale said in her sentencing remarks that Mr Alessandrino had caused “a significant breach of trust” and was motivated by a level of greed but accepted he was at low risk of reoffending.
“It appears that you generated false invoices to maintain the pretence that the funds were paid as genuine reimbursements,” said Judge Lonsdale.
“Essentially, you purported to have paid invoices on behalf of ASPL and submitted the false invoices for reimbursement when, in fact, no such expense had been incurred.
“Your offending, although ultimately it involves one count only, involved repeated instances of offending.”
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.