A BOARD member who stole $68,000 that he thought might have been payment for a weeks work he did in St George has been sentenced to 18 months of community corrections.
Douglas Frederick Kirk has been ordered to pay back $68,009 to the Commonwealth Bank after it was found he transferred corporate funds from the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Lands Council to his personal bank account.
Kirk worked as a board member at the organisation when the loss of the money was uncovered.
The organisation had arranged for Ray White to start managing some rental properties, so money held by Homes North was transferred into a new Commmonwealth Bank account.
A stuff-up at the bank meant nobody ensured that two signatories were required to access the funds.
As a result, anyone with a CommBank phone application with access to the account could withdraw or transfer funds.
On July 4 Kirk, who had never previously had access to the account, used the app to transfer $67,959 into his personal account.
Almost 20 days after that the 59-year-old man transferred a further $50 into his account from the Tamworth Local Aboriginal Lands Council fund.
Three days later the missing money was discovered when financial documents were being prepared for the Local Aboriginal Land Council's monthly board meeting.
A visit from the senior project officer and another board member to Kirk's home confirmed he had taken the money.
At Kirk's home on Quinn Street he told the senior project officer and board member that he took the money and spent all of it except $2000.
When the money first turned up in his account, Kirk told the pair he had tried to contact CommBank but the bank could not tell him where it came from.
Kirk told police he had used some of the money to help his brother move from Western Australia to New South Wales when they arrested him at his home on August 30.
The money has been refunded to the Local Aboriginal Land Council by Commonwealth Bank, but the bank sought compensation from Kirk.
The sentence imposed in Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday will expire in November 2020.