A former chief financial officer at Canberra's PCYC is behind bars after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the not-for-profit.
The woman, who was not named in the judgment, was addicted to gambling and it was likely much of the more than $400,000 she stole was a result of the addiction, the judge found.
After earlier pleading guilty to four counts of obtaining property by deception and one of theft, the woman was sentenced on Friday in the ACT Supreme Court to three years jail.
Justice Michael Elkaim said the sentence would be suspended after 15 months, and the woman would be subject to a good behaviour order for the rest of the term.
He also ordered she repay the more than $400,000 she stole, and attend Gamblers Anonymous or a similar organisation once released from jail.
The woman joined the not-for-profit organisation in 2011 as an assistant to the chief executive officer.
In 2012, she became the chief financial officer, though Justice Elkaim noted in his sentencing remarks she "probably did not have the necessary qualifications".
The woman had also apparently resisted attempts to further her education, the judge said.
In the course of her employment, the woman, who is in her 40s, managed all of the accounts held by the club.
"She was authorised to do this on her own and, in some cases, without the need for a second signature. A number of transactions could be carried out online," Justice Elkaim observed.
In some instances, the woman electronically transferred money into her own bank account or that of her husband, in one transaction sending herself more than $5000.
There were more than 155 separate electronic transactions for a total sum of more than $272,000.
In 20 instances the woman deposited cheques into her own bank accounts, and in another 12 instances there were express deposits into her bank accounts.
The woman deposited one cheque worth $3400 that was drawn on the organisation and made out to herself.
The woman used an ATM to withdraw cash 10 times from the PCYC account, and the largest single withdrawal was $1000.
In early 2015, an investigation of the accounts found overdue reminders, letters of demand and some suspended and cancelled accounts.
"On one view, the offender's actions were sophisticated in that she was able to transfer to her own accounts a substantial amount of money," the judge said.
"On another view, her actions were clumsy and essentially waiting to be discovered, as soon as proper scrutiny was given to CPCYC's financial affairs.
"Whatever the case, the facts disclose a sustained attack on the resources of CPCYC."
The judge said each transaction was a breach of trust between the woman and the club.
He said while the sentence he had imposed might be considered lenient compared to similar offences, he had taken into account the woman's upbringing.
He referred to a report tendered in court that said trusted carers had abused and neglected the woman in her childhood. The report said the woman's stepfather had abused her.
She will be eligible for release January 2019.