Accountant fleeces $780,000 from Indigenous organisations

An Alice Springs-based accountant has cited his online gambling addiction as the reason for stealing approximately $780,000 from Aboriginal organisations throughout central Australia.

As reported by the ABC, Johannes Joubert has pled guilty to the Alice Springs Supreme Court in relation to the theft, which occurred between 2010 and 2014 when Mr Joubert worked as a bookkeeper for local accounting firm Centre Accounting Services (CAS).

The firm has since closed its doors.

According to the ABC, the crown had alleged that Mr Joubert hacked and manipulated financial records, while directly transferring funds from his clients’ bank accounts into his own personal funds.

Close to 20 Aboriginal organisations throughout small remote communities were targeted by Mr Joubert in 167 separate transactions, in which he stole approximately $550,000.

Mr Joubert also stole $230,000 from the now defunct Central Australian Stolen Generations and Families Aboriginal Corporation, which provided a link-up service for family members of Stolen Generations people.

The organisation was forced to close in 2015 due to funding cuts, misuse of funds and an audit investigation following compliance issues.

The court was informed that Mr Joubert’s pathological online gambling addiction, in particular poker, was the reason for his actions. He pled guilty to all charges of stealing relating to fraud and dishonesty, and was remanded in custody.

Mr Joubert will be sentenced on 27 April.

 

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