In Goulburn Local Court on 30 April, 2014, the former manager of a Goulburn based incorporated association, Live At Home Goulburn & Districts Incorporated, has received a suspended prison sentence for stealing $417,826.27 over a period of eight years.
Kareen Solveigh Olsen (aka Kareen Barby and Kareen Hutchins), formerly of Breadalbane, Mittagong, Balmoral Village and Orangeville NSW, was convicted after pleading guilty to 21 counts of ‘larceny as a servant’ for stealing money belonging to her employer Live At Home Goulburn & Districts Inc, for her own benefit.
The association, now in liquidation, provided home care and disability support services to clients in the Goulburn region until 2004.
Ms Olsen, now in her sixties, was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each of nine counts of larceny, to be served concurrently and all suspended. She was sentenced to a further four years imprisonment, to be served concurrently and suspended, for a further 12 counts of larceny.
Ms Olsen was ordered to pay $417,827.27 compensation to the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADAHC).
Acting Fair Trading Commissioner Rob Vellar said the conviction was the result of thorough and painstaking work by NSW Fair Trading officers.
“The officers undertook extensive investigations before handing the matter over to NSW Police,” he said.
The evidence presented to the court included examination of several thousand deposit and withdrawal records from various banks in order to determine the extent of the theft committed.
The evidence gathered showed that Ms Olsen had used the association’s funds for her own personal benefit including purchasing property in Queensland, paying personal debts and employment termination payments to herself.
Ms Olsen also established a secret bank account with herself as the only signatory, allowing her to withdraw more than $195,000 in cash between 1995 and 2003.
Under the Crimes Act 1900 larceny as a servant can attract a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
When sentencing Ms Olsen, the court took into account the fact she had no prior convictions or criminal record, her guilty plea and her agreement to repay the money in full.