Commonwealth Bank teller Hsin-Yu Tsai, 33, stole $2.4million from customer’s account 

How a Commonwealth Bank teller stole $2.4million from a customer to buy luxury watches, designer handbags and even a HOUSE

  • Former bank teller Hsin-Yu Tsai, 33, stole more than $2.4million from a customer
  • She then used the funds to buy luxury watches, pricey handbags, and a house 
  • She told NSW District Court on Wednesday she was not motivated by greed
  • She said her violent boyfriend came up with the idea and he wanted a Ferrari
  • Tsai pleaded guilty to several charges and will be sentenced at a later date 

A former Commonwealth Bank clerk illegally moved more than $2.4million out of a customer’s account to pay for luxury watches, expensive handbags and a house.

But Hsin-Yu Tsai, 33, denies it was greed that prompted her offending.

She told her sentence hearing at the NSW District Court on Wednesday that she stole the money to appease her controlling and violent boyfriend who came up with the idea and at one stage requested a Ferrari.

‘I guess he wanted to join the Ferrari owners club to meet more people,’ she said.

Hsin-Yu Tsai, 33, (pictured) faced Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to several fraud charges

Tsai pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and one for using a false document.

While working as a Customer Service Specialist in 2015 Tsai transferred $2.25m from one customer into a Netbank savings account secretly set up to receive the money.

She also withdrew $150,000 in cash from the same customer’s account.

She paid off a Kirribilli home with the proceeds of her fraud and eventually sold this to invest in her current Chippendale apartment.

At the time she had been earning $68,000 from the bank and for some years received regular $3000 monthly payments from her parents, who provided ongoing financial help, she told the court.

She also had access to their trust fund of $3 million which she infrequently withdrew from without asking, she said.

But she was too scared to ask her parents for financial help to leave her partner, and instead accrued a sum of $150,000 without his knowledge.

‘I didn’t ask them because, if I tell them the relationship is not going well, I think that would make them worry because I was so far away from them,’ she said.

Tsai stole more than $2.4million from a Commonwealth Bank customer’s account while she was working at a Sydney branch in 2015. She is pictured leaving court on Wednesday 

During their relationship, she was attacked on multiple occasions, while the man’s former partner has sworn an affidavit saying ‘he resorts to violence when things don’t go his way,’ the court was told.

Prosecutor Jennifer Jayasuriya submitted Tsai was motivated by greed, and simply couldn’t resist the temptation of millions to be gained from the victim to bolster her lavish lifestyle.

When the relationship ended she was given $1 million as compensation by her ex-partner and travelled back to see her family in Taiwan, to ‘lay low,’ Ms Jayasuriya said.

She returned to Australia and resumed her job with the financial institution as a lender, with the same authority over people’s money.

But she never stole again because she was no longer pressured by her partner, her lawyer Troy Edwards said.

‘This person is a very different person to the one who committed these offences five or six years ago,’ he said.

Tsai said her partner came up with the idea to steal the money and she was not motivated by greed

Tsai said her partner came up with the idea to steal the money and she was not motivated by greed

‘Her life is completely and utterly different to what it was then when she was putting deposits on Ferraris and getting bashed by (her boyfriend).’

The Crown said Tsai only cared that she had destroyed her reputation following the sophisticated money theft over a long period of time.

‘You don’t mention the harm you caused your victims,’ Ms Jayasuriya said.

‘I definitely understand how much anxiety they would go through finding out the money was not there,’ Tsai said.

Judge John Pickering will sentence Tsai at a later date.