Stanthorpe banker faked signatures for $60k in loans
A COMMONWEALTH Bank employee who fleeced $60,000 in loans from the Stanthorpe branch has avoided jail.
Cassandra Lee Kimmins forged her husband's signature on two separate credit applications to ensure she received a $25,000 loan in March 2013, and a $35,000 loan nine months later.
Defence barrister Mark Johnson said his 27-year-old client was considered the "money manager" in her family, and forged her husband's signature to obtain the loan for wedding costs, living expenses and her husband's "love of fast cars".
"(Her husband) didn't know money too well," Mr Johnson said.
"He knew how to spend it, but not how to manage it."
Judge David Andrews reiterated Mr Johnson's words in a way not to blame Kimmins' then husband.
"Her partner was an impetuous consumer unaware of the financial stretches of the family," he said.
The court heard Kimmins was 23 and working as a bank teller when she applied for the first loan, and obtained the second only to pay off the $21,000 remaining from the first loan.
It was only when the pair separated in 2014, Kimmins' husband advised the bank the signatures were not his.
Judge Andrews noted the mother of two organised a repayment scheme to pay back the $35,000 loan, but her capacity to repay was extinguished when she was fired.
"It is quite different from the kind of person ... who forged cheques altering the payee's name so that she could take money that was never repaid," he said.
The judge also noted the fraud did not stem from gambling debts or psychological issues.
"You are a different category," Judge Andrews said.
Crown prosecutor Nicholas McGhee said as a bank employee, Kimmins' culpability was higher given her position of responsibility and trust.
Judge Andrew agreed, but noted Kimmins was still breastfeeding her one-year-old baby, had no criminal history and had intent to repay.
She was sentenced to two years jail but was released .
In hearing she wouldn't spend time behind bars, Kimmins gave an immediate sigh.
"Thank you, Your Honour," she said.