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A former Westpac bank manager spent his first hours behind bars last night after pleading guilty to defrauding a customer out of more than $500,000.
Darren Jason Arnold, 37, was charged with fraud and theft after WA Police carried out what they described as a "significant" arrest late last year.
The major fraud squad had alleged Arnold carried out the thefts from Christmas Eve 2013 to March 31 last year, which equated to one count of gaining a benefit by fraud and nine counts of stealing as a servant.
Police said the total taken was $515,000. The customer was repaid the losses when they were discovered by the bank in the past few months.
One of the fraudulent transactions totalled $85,000, Perth Magistrate's Court was told. Police say Arnold was using his position at the bank to adjust accounts and loan documents, and then taking the money for his own use.
It is understood the money was used to service Arnold's gambling with the TAB - and on his first appearance in court yesterday, he pleaded guilty to all the charges.
Dressed smartly in a suit and tie, but with no supporters in court, Arnold said nothing as he was taken into custody.
The court confirmed the surety on the bail granted after his arrest was not to continue, and Arnold's lawyer said he was willing to surrender immediately.
Arnold is listed to appear in Perth's District Court in March, where he will be sentenced.
Psychological, psychiatric and pre-sentence reports will be prepared.
Westpac confirmed it was aware of the case and that Arnold was no longer an employee of the bank. His employment was terminated almost immediately after the irregular money move- ments were revealed, the bank said.
However, it would not comment further on the case while it was still before the courts.