A BOARD member who stole $68,000 from Tamworth Local Aboriginal Lands Council has pleaded guilty to transferring the funds into his personal bank account.
Douglas Frederick Kirk's excuse was that he thought the money might have been payment for a weeks work he did in St George, police evidence shows.
In its dealings with Homes North, the lands council arranged for Ray White to start managing some rental properties.
As a result the money held by Homes North was transferred into a new account at the Commonwealth Bank.
The bank failed to ensure two signatories were required to access the funds.
That allowed anyone with the CommBank phone application to access the account to withdraw or transfer funds.
Kirk, who had never previously had electronic access to this account, then used the App to transfer $67,959 into his own account on July 4.
Just 19 days later the 59-year-old man went back for another 50 bucks and transferred that into his account too.
The loss of the money was uncovered three days later when financial documents were being prepared for the LALC's monthly board meeting.
That afternoon the senior project officer and another board member went to Kirk's home on Quinn Street where he admitted to taking the money but said all had been spent except $2000.
Kirk told his colleagues he had tried to contact CommBank when the money first showed up in his account but they were not able to tell him where it came from.
Police arrested Kirk on August 30 at his home where he told officers he had used some of the money to help his brother move from Western Australia to New South Wales.
Commonwealth Bank has refunded the money to the LALC, but the Commonwealth is now seeking compensation from Kirk.
Kirk will be sentenced in April.