A mother-of-three who stole almost $1.2 million from her employer to fuel her gambling addiction has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in a West Australian prison.
Natasha Lee Lambert, 44, pleaded guilty to four counts of stealing as a servant from FM Building and Mining Services between June 2017 and July 2019.
She had been responsible for handling all of the business accounts payable and receivable, and her crimes were only exposed after a forensic accountant audited the company's finances.
Lambert has mental health issues and an "entrenched gambling addiction" but had intended to repay the money through casino wins, the WA District Court heard.
But Judge David MacLean said that was a "fantasy intent".
"With great respect, anyone that's got their wits about them understands that the casino always wins," he said.
Judge MacLean said each offence was committed with careful sophistication.
"You were able to commit these offences by reason of the position of trust that you held within your employment and that is an aggravating factor," he said.
Judge MacLean accepted Lambert was remorseful, at low risk of reoffending and had sought treatment for her problems.
Lambert must serve at least half her prison term before she is eligible for parole.