Rajina Subramaniam defrauded her employer of $45 million.
THE diamonds and sapphires were stored under her desk and never worn, the four multimillion-dollar beachside apartments left unattended.
And when detectives finally came to arrest the Sydney mother Rijina Rita Subramaniam for defrauding her employer of $45 million, not one of the luxury items she had bought with the money was among her personal possessions.
In one of the largest cases of fraud by a woman in NSW history, Subramaniam repeatedly siphoned off tens of thousands of dollars from ING Australia, where she was an accountant for more than a decade.
The 41-year-old from Castle Hill spent the money on seven prestige properties – including four units on Bondi Beach’s exclusive Campbell Parade – 600 pieces of designer jewellery, and 200 perfume and make-up items. But then she never touched them.
Yesterday the Downing Centre District Court was told that Subramaniam was motivated, not by greed, but by a desire for revenge over the allegedly abusive sexual relationship she was having with a workmate, and an overwhelming need for positive affirmation.
Subramaniam’s sentencing hearing heard that she had extremely poor self-esteem, due in part to the sexual abuse she allegedly experienced as a child at the hands of her grandfather and two uncles.
After getting involved with a colleague at ING, she came to perceive the relationship as abusive but continued to see the man for years. This alleged abuse and the feeling that her supervisors were bullying her led to a desire for revenge and to ”get back at the system and others within the system”.
According to Dr Stephen Allnutt, who was called as a witness for the defence, the flip-side of these feelings was a powerful desire for recognition and empowerment, desires that were fulfilled by spending money.
Judge Michael Finnane said that Subramaniam appeared to gain satisfaction from ”being applauded by [shop] assistants [who said] ‘how wonderful you’ve come back to us again, a wealthy woman like you and a woman of such discrimination and taste … we’ll only show you the very good stuff because you’re someone very special”’.
So grateful was she for the warmth and attention, Subramaniam gave one shop assistant $1.3 million to buy a house.
Subramaniam’s lawyer, Tim Game, SC, said Subramaniam should not be jailed because she would not be able to get the psychological care she needed.
Judge Finnane will hand down his sentence in February.
Sourced from: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/womans-quest-for-selfesteem-and-revenge-cost-boss-45m-20111215-1owya.html#ixzz1gfN8sApi, Paul Bibby Courts, 16/12/2011. Image courtesy of stuff.co.nz