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The fraud caused the closure of seven Kings Jewellers stores and the sacking of 60 staff
The fraud caused the closure of seven Kings Jewellers stores and the sacking of 60 staff

CFO jailed for defrauding jeweller

Kings Jewellers’ former CFO has been sentenced to seven years jail for her part in a $1.4 million fraud against the company, motivated by a lesbian love triangle turned sour.

As reported by Jeweller last year, Anna Rajkowski’s thefts from the Queensland-based business subsequently caused the closure of seven Kings Jewellers stores and the sacking of 60 staff.

She is the final member of the triumvirate to be convicted.

Last week the Brisbane District Court was told that Rajkowski, who pleaded guilty to two counts of defrauding Kings of the cash between 2007 and 2009, did so because she was manipulated by her former lover, Luisa Touli, whom she started dating when she was only 15 years old.

In November 2012, Touli was sentenced to nine years jail for her role in the fraud.

The court was told Touli had bullied Rajkowski – described as a weak person – into stealing the money. Touli had even threatened to take her own life if Rajkowski did not commit the fraud.

The court heard Rajkowski had continued to be bullied by Touli even after Touli had taken a new lover, who joined the pair in the same Brisbane home for at least one year in what was described as a messy love triangle.

During that time, Rajkowski had remained confused about the status of her relationship with Touli.

The court heard her fraudulent offending snowballed until she quit her job. The theft was uncovered during an audit in 2011. The crimes eventually resulted in store closures and many staff losing their jobs.

Prosecutor Ken Spinaze told the court Rajkowski made more than 400 individual transactions over a 26-month period, transferring money, sometimes daily, into a bank account held by Touli and to that of fellow Kings’ employee Faagata Uelese, 23.

Former Kings Jewellers storefront
Former Kings Jewellers storefront
In all, $1.163 million was placed into Touli’s account and $226,000 deposited into Uelese’s account. Rajkowski was also said to have transferred $38,000 into her own account.

Spinaze said Touli would withdraw money from Uelese's account when she reached the daily limits of her own account. He said the acts were done to feed the gambling and drinking habits of Touli.

The court was told Touli had frittered away the money by spending her days at a Brisbane hotel playing the pokies.

The prosecution identified Touli as the principal offender, adding that she had “corrupted” then-partner Rajkowski, manipulating her into committing the fraud.

Rajkowski, who has repaid just $41,000, was sentenced to seven years jail, and will be eligible for parole in August 2015. Touli will be eligible for parole in November 2015.

Uesele was given a two-year suspended prison sentence and two-and-a-half years probation. Her defence lawyer argued that she had a mild intellectual disability that made her vulnerable to manipulation.

All three women had pleaded guilty.

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