Between January 2012 and April 2017, McKee, 33, who had been hired as an interior decorating consultant, altered documents, stole products and gave unauthorised discounts to the sum of $30,137. On five occasions, McKee edited invoices and quotes to replace the business bank account with her own, before giving them to clients. She also sent her personal bank account details via email and text message to clients, where money for the business was then deposited in her own account. The offending included making product orders on behalf of clients and adding extra items for herself, and giving away a “significant” amount of unauthorised discounts.
Julia Eade read an impact statement in court relaying the affects the offending had on both her and her family and also other staff members. Since buying the business four and a half years ago, regardless of the effort they put in, the soft furnishings department was unable to break even, Julia said. McKee’s “lies, fraud and deception” had left the couple strained, stressed and tired.
Judge Roberts said McKee claimed personal issues, including isolation and depression, as reasoning for the offending. However, she had accepted her wrongdoing, he said. Aggravating factors into the offending were the premeditation, the extended amount of time the offending took place and the complexity. “It was literally hidden from prying eyes for years.”
McKee had stolen repeatedly when the opportunity presented itself, the judge said.
The breach of trust had left the victims scarred, he said.