Accountant jailed for stealing $800K from island resort
TEMPTATION proved too hard to resist when an accountant stole almost $800,000 from his employer.
Motivated by a "misguided" relationship attempt, Jameson Tatel Yu stole $797,058 from Heron Island Resort between May and July 2018 when working on the island as an accountant.
Yu pleaded guilty in the District Court in Gladstone yesterday to two charges: fraud - dishonestly obtains property from another by employee value of at least $100,000 and attempted fraud - dishonestly obtains property from another by employee value of at least $100,000.
The 35-year-old was sentenced to six years' jail with parole eligibility on November 25.
After release it is believed Yu will likely be deported to the Philippines.
Yu had been employed for one month before he began making payments to his bank account from the resort's Xero accounting software.
The company became aware of suspicious accounts activity when a supplier contacted the resort general manager and complained about late payments.
The manager logged into the software and the company's internet banking account and discovered several unauthorised transactions.
When the manager confronted Yu, he admitted stealing the money but severely downplayed the amount to about $400,000.
The court was told Yu also changed the account details of suppliers to his own in an attempt to make 48 fraudulent transactions worth over $230,000.
However, he was unsuccessful and the transactions were paid to suppliers.
Yu told the manager he would repay the money.
The pair went to the bank and set up a payment plan.
The manager later notified police and Yu was arrested at the Reef Hotel on July 25, 2018.
The court was told Yu paid back $679,389 to the company leaving more than $117,000 outstanding.
In a psychology report read aloud to the court it was revealed Yu committed the fraud in a "misguided" attempt to form a relationship.
The court was told Yu had never held a long-term relationship.
Defence barrister Scott Moon said his client came from a stable family.
He said Yu's mother was a nurse and his father owned a construction company.
Yu's parents flew from their home in the Philippines to attend court.
Mr Moon said his client's "fall from grace" had brought shame to his family.
Prior to the offending Yu had worked internationally and in Australia as an accountant and financial advisor.
Since being arrested, Yu reportedly valued his employment in the prison kitchen at the Capricornia Correction Centre.
But Mr Moon said Yu's job was at risk because he was not at the jail yesterday and the role would pass to another prisoner.