Melbourne accountant jailed for fraud

Georgie Moore
An accountant will be behind bars with her young child after being jailed for fraud

An accountant who defrauded a Melbourne automotive company of more than half a million dollars to feed her gambling addiction has been jailed.

Natasha Kovacevic created fake invoices totalling $631,698 while working for manufacturer Clutch Industries between 2013 and 2017.

The 40-year-old used the money to gamble before being sprung following an audit and was jailed in the County Court of Victoria on Monday for a year.

She will serve the prison sentence with her young child and must also complete a serve a two-year community correction order, including 150 hours of unpaid work and mental health treatment, after being released.

Judge Mark Dean said Kovacevic acted with a "planned and thoroughly criminal dishonesty".

A psychological report found she had a pervasive sense of entitlement.

Over four years, Kovacevic used her job as company accountant to cover up 123 dodgy transactions, purportedly to a legitimate car parts company.

Instead she used the money to feed her gambling addiction, withdrawing a total of $866,980 from various ATMs.

Kovacevic was caught after she resigned and the Thomastown-based company took civil action against her.

She went on to plead guilty to five counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and underwent counselling for her gambling addiction.