A NEW England woman has been re-sentenced to a jail term in the community after defrauding a local business of tens of thousands of dollars.
Edna Mary Mendes has been convicted of five dishonesty charges, after defrauding an Armidale machinery business several years ago by secretly paying herself extra wages.
She has already paid back the $88,134.74 she took from the earthmoving business, where she used to work.
Mendes was initially jailed in Armidale Local Court in April 2019, but is yet to serve a day behind bars. And now she won't, unless she breaches the conditions of her Intensive Corrections Order (ICO).
It's been a long-running case before the courts, but Mendes was finally re-sentenced in Coffs Harbour District Court.
Judge Jonathan Priestley imposed an aggregate sentence of nine months from February this year, to be served by way of an ICO in the community.
Mendes had appealed to the district court, immediately after her sentence was handed down in the local court last year.
Magistrate Michael Holmes jailed her for 18 months for five counts of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception, but she argued the sentence was too severe.
At the time, Mendes' solicitor acknowledged his client's offending "involved a breach of trust on a continuing basis".
"This woman is deeply ashamed of her wrongdoing," he said in written submissions, tendered in court.
The then 47-year-old was first charged in September 2018 after handing herself into police.
Armidale detectives launched an investigation into the suspected fraud on the business after anomalies were first discovered in 2014 and 2015. The police probe was instigated following an audit of the business' accounting system.
Mendes admitted to the charges that involved increasing her weekly wage and transferring funds to the tune of $18,546.35 as well as conducting unauthorised fund transfers on multiple occasions, pocketing more than $57,138.49.
She also admitted to conducting unauthorised bank transfers, stealing $10,656.90 from the Armidale earthmoving business.
The offences occurred between January 2011, and October 2013, before the dishonesty was discovered. Mendes' employment was terminated that month.
In re-sentencing, Judge Priestley, allowed a 25 per cent discount for Mendes' early guilty pleas.
As part of her conditions, Mendes must be supervised by parole authorities and must not breach her conditions by further offending.
Mendes' ICO will expire at the end of November.