Man gave sex worker $800k stolen from work

·2-min read

Rukesh Sadhai fell in love with a sex worker and stole more than $800,000 from his employer to pay off what he mistakenly believed was a hefty sum she owed to dangerous criminals.

The 49-year-old on Wednesday faced the Victorian County Court, where he was sentenced to a total of two years and four months in prison.

Sadhai had pleaded guilty to four counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception after stealing $838,780 from CoINVEST, a construction payroll company, in 36 transactions from March 2012 to May 2013.

Judge Richard Maidment said Sadhai had become "infatuated" with the prostitute by late 2011 following the breakdown of his marriage.

The woman claimed that her family had been threatened after a large debt owed to criminals by her former housemate was lumped onto her when the friend left the county.

Sadhai gave all the money to the woman and received no direct financial benefit himself, the court was told, before eventually realising she was gambling everything away.

"Your gullibility and stupidity do not reduce your moral culpability," Judge Maidment told the 49-year-old, who worked as a compliance officer at CoINVEST.

"Your conduct represented a very substantial and deplorable breach of trust ... and exhibited an exploitation of your intimate knowledge of the financial controls."

Judge Maidment said while Sadhai had good prospects of rehabilitation and was highly unlikely to ever reoffend, the scheme he devised to cover his tracks required "considerable care and planning".

The rorting was sophisticated enough, the judge said, to go undetected by the company for nearly three years.

"You continued offending for more than 13 months and you had constant opportunity to consider the scale of criminality and the repercussions of your conduct," Judge Maidment said.

Sadhai repaid CoINVEST $100,000 while his mother paid the company $500,000, the court was told.

He must serve at least one year and four months in prison before being eligible for parole.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting