Woman stole more than $1 million: police

Newcastle courthouse. A REDHEAD woman who stole more than $1 million from a waste management company over an eight-year period created three separate bank accounts to siphon offthe funds, according to court documents.
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Sonia Gai Ambler, 53, has pleaded guilty to stealing property as a clerk greater than $15,000 after a number of other fraud charges were withdrawn.

Ambler, who is represented by solicitor Mandy Hull, did not appear in Newcastle District Court on Thursday and the matter was adjourned to April when she will be sentenced.

Ambler was employed as an administration assistant for EMS Group Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of major environmental and waste management companyVeolia Environmental Services Australia Pty Ltd, between July 2001 and December 2014 according to court documents.

During her employment, Ambler worked from a warehouse, operated by EMS Group, in Aruma Place, Cardiff.But between June 2006 and when her employment was terminated at the end of 2014, Ambler stole more than $1 million from Veolia, court documents state.

Veloia managementdiscovered that payments totalling $1,181,875 that had been made to the vendors “Toronto Plumbing” and “Concut Pty Ltd” had actually been made to Ambler’s personal bank account.

The company conducted an internal investigation using a forensic accountant who identified that on 855 occasions Ambler had transferred funds into three separate ANZ bank accounts under the guise of payment to the vendors.

Lake Macquarie detectives say that the three accounts were opened and managed by Ambler with the sole purpose of defrauding the company.

After her termination from EMS Group Pty Ltd, Ambler was subject to civil action by Veolia in a bid to recoup the stolen funds, according to court documents.

The proceedings were finalised in the NSW Supreme Court in 2015, with Justice Rowan Drake finding in favour of Veolia and ordering Ambler repay $1,018,418.28, according to court documents.

However, according to Justice Media records, the matter was discontinued in August, 2015, and any “asset preservation orders” were dissolved.

Ambler was arrestedat her Redhead home in November 2016 and providedlittle explanation as to why she had stolen money over the years, other than to say she “was going through a bit of a nervous breakdown” and was living beyond her means.