Woman denied bail on 895 fraud charges

Christine Flatley

An employee continued to steal more than $300,000 from a small trophy business even when its financially struggling owners were forced to put the shop up for sale, a court has heard.

Leonie Marie Hartas, 40, of Bongaree, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday charged with 895 fraud and forgery offences between July 2012 and November 2016.

It's alleged she was an employee of PDU Trading in Virginia, in Brisbane's north, when she wrote cheques, forged signatures and made false entries in the business registers to steal the money.

The court heard the owners, aged 69 and 70, suffered extreme financial hardship because of the alleged fraud.

They had to use their superannuation to help keep the business afloat, but were finally forced to sell the shop.

"Despite knowing this ... police say the defendant was remorseless and continued her offending," Magistrate Jacqui Payne said.

Hartas applied for bail arguing she needed to care for her 14-year-old son and her mother, who has osteoporosis.

The court heard Hartas was on medication for a number of illnesses including bipolar disorder and depression, and that she would seek psychiatric help if she was released.

However, Ms Payne refused bail on the grounds she was an "unacceptable risk of reoffending", noting she had been given a jail sentence more than 10 years ago for related offending.

Hartas was remanded in custody and her matter adjourned until March 20.