Accused was 'friend and lifestyle funder'

·3-min read

A former NAB senior staffer has told a jury she became very dependent on a businesswoman who she said fraudulently funded her luxurious lifestyle.

Rosemary Rogers acknowledged that she didn't pay for a raft of transactions including up-market hotels, local and overseas flights, expensive home renovations, boats and a caravan.

She said Helen Rosamond paid for them for her, then sent invoices from her company Human Resources to NAB that were approved by Rogers.

She was continuing her evidence on Friday at the NSW District Court trial of Rosamond, the former chief executive of the events and human resources company.

The 47-year-old has pleaded not guilty to dozens of fraud and bribery charges related to allegedly defrauding the bank of millions of dollars between 2013 and 2017.

The Crown alleges Rosamond sent falsified and inflated invoices from Human Group to NAB and paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Rogers to ensure they were paid.

Rogers has told the jury she was sent to prison in December 2020 after pleading guilty to 27 counts of corruptly receiving a benefit and five of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

The former chief-of-staff to NAB's chief executive, who was authorised to approve payments of up to $20 million, said Rosamond did great work in arranging the bank's many events through Human Group.

Rogers said she would approve its invoices without requiring audits or expenses details.

Prosecutor Katrina Mackenzie took Rogers though numerous transactions including accommodation for her and relatives at Sydney's Four Seasons Hotel, at Melbourne's Crown Towers and at a Waikiki resort.

Others related to luxury accommodation at Wolgan Valley, for flights and hotel in Fiji, and a Tasmanian trip for Rogers and her husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary.

In each case, she said she told Rosamond what she wanted, her friend then made all the arrangements and pre-paid for them, before billing NAB sometimes referring to made-up projects.

Rogers said she supported the extensions of Human Group's bank contract and never spoke to the procurement section about any changes.

"I was comfortable with the arrangement I had," she said.

"I was getting benefits.

"They probably would have requested a lot more detail be reported and signed off as part of the invoicing process."

Ms Mackenzie asked what effect did the holidays and other numerous payments have in the way she dealt with Rosamond and Human Group.

"I think for me, it got to a point where we had a great friendship and it was a very strong personal connection, but I was very dependent on her," she said.

She had become a confidante and was also very good at her job.

"It was also for funding a lifestyle I had."

She agreed it was important to make sure there was money in the budgets for the actual events organised by Human Group.

"Because the NAB events had to roll on and be delivered successfully, because that kept both of us gainfully employed," she said.

The trial continues.