License article

Bendigo Bank claims $1.5m from Crown for stolen funds

Crown Casino could face a $1.5 million bill if it is found to have known - or should have known - that a former bank employee was ''unlikely to have gained access to the sorts of funds she expended on gambling … by lawful means''.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has taken Crown Melbourne to the Supreme Court seeking the recovery of stolen funds.

Bank employee Kate Jamieson stole more than $3.8 million from the Bendigo Bank between 2001 and 2004 and was convicted and jailed for the crime.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd lodged a statement of claim in March 2010 against Crown Melbourne Ltd seeking ''the amount of stolen funds paid to Crown''.

''The information currently available to Bendigo Bank indicates that, between July 2001 and May 2004, Jamieson paid at least $1,508,546 of the stolen funds to Crown,'' according to the claim.

A Crown spokesman said ''Crown has been and will continue to vigorously defend the matter. As the case is still before the courts, Crown cannot comment further.''


Court documents lodged by the bank said in 2001 Jamieson lost approximately $291 for every hour she gambled at the casino. In 2002 her average hourly loss grew to approximately $809, in 2003 it was approximately $2014 and in 2004 approximately $2645.

''Jamieson would gamble, and lose, up to $20,000 per visit to the casino,'' the documents said, with most of the funds paid to Crown in cash.

Jamieson was invited by the casino to join its VIP program and attended the Australian Tennis Open and Comedy Festival event with tickets provided by Crown - ''on which occasions she drove to Crown, was taken by Crown's limousine to the venue, picked up after the event by Crown's limousine and dropped off at Crown where she went to the gaming rooms in order to gamble'', according to documents lodged by the bank's lawyers.

The documents said ''two to three times per week on average Crown staff contacted Jamieson on her mobile phone, or at her home in Lalor, or at work at the Preston branch of Bendigo Bank, very often for the purpose of inviting her to a function or event''.

The bank argues that Jamieson ''must have appeared to Crown to be a person of ordinary circumstances'' and she had told Crown staff she was employed as a relationship officer at the bank.

The bank alleges ''Jamieson was, and must have appeared to Crown to be, a person who was unlikely - whether by reason of her employment or other personal circumstances - to have gained access to the sort of funds she was expending at the casino, by lawful means''.

A pretrial directions hearing has been set for May 27.