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March 24, 2023

Canteen manager sentenced over theft from sporting clubs

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The canteen operator for Far North Coast Softball and Baseball Associations who fleeced more than $15,000 from bank accounts in 2015 and 2016 has been sentenced to an intensive corrections order.

Donalee Jean Green appeared in Lismore Local Court on Monday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to two charges of dishonestly obtaining property by deception.

The court heard between September 6, 2015 and March 2, 2016, the East Lismore woman conducted 33 fraudulent cash withdrawals totalling $3,424 from a Far North Coast Softball Association FNCSA account used to purchase food and beverages.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

The Far North Coast Baseball Association’s FNCBA account saw 47 unauthorised transactions conducted by the 49-year-old between April 28 and June 26, 2016, totalling $12,354.60.

Her fraud spree began when she met with the FNCSA treasurer in 2015 about running the canteen and Ms Green was told the season profit was $10,000, of which she would receive 40 per cent.

Ms Green was provided with a debit card for an account used specifically used to purchase food and beverages.

During the softball season, the treasurer noticed there were multiple cash withdrawals from the account which she didn’t authorise.

When Ms Green was questioned by the treasurer about the withdrawals she claimed two food suppliers had asked for cash payments.

Ms Green submitted numerous invoices for both food suppliers with paid cash written across them, but when the treasurer enquired, both businesses said they hadn’t been paid during the entire season.

A total of 17 cash withdrawals were made at licensed premises in Goonellabah and Ballina totalling $1,380.

Ms Green withdrew a further $2,044 through cash withdrawals at supermarkets in Lismore, Goonellabah and Ballina.

When she moved onto the Far North Coast Baseball Association account, Ms Green withdrew cash 47 times from Ballina and Goonellabah businesses, up to three times per day ,totalling $12, 354.60.

‘Of particular concern was the fact numerous withdrawals were made at licensed premises, some of which were made on the same day,’ court documents stated.

Delegates from the Far North Coast Baseball Association reported the matters to Lismore police on July 14, 2016 and an investigation was launched.

Police obtained CCTV footage of the transactions and when they questioned Ms Green she said she withdrew the cash and bought Powerade for the canteen with it.

She was unable to provide any receipts or proof of buying any Powerade to police.

When Ms Green appeared in court on July 17 this year, Magistrate David Heilpern ordered her to be assessed for an Intensive Corrections Order ICO.

On Monday, when Mr Heilpern was told Ms Green had been assessed as suitable for the ICO, he ordered her to serve a period of 18 months concurrently on each charge.

Instead of entering full time custody, offenders subject to ICOs are managed in the community by the Community Corrections division of Corrective Services NSW.

ICOs require supervision by community corrections, where behaviour is monitored and rehabilitative needs are addressed, plus 32 hours of community service work to be completed each month.


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