Tasmanian mum-of-four Casey Maree Bryant who conned her employer into paying for $130,000 worth of home improvement products from Bunnings learns her fate

A Tasmanian mother-of-four has narrowly avoided jail after she used her council job to scam $130,000 worth of household products.

Casey Maree Bryant, 40, from Bothwell, about an hour north of Hobart, was working as an administrative officer for Central Highlands Council when she set up a Bunnings membership under her employer’s details.

A court heard on Friday she would purchase items at Bunnings and other retailers, pay with council cash and then input the items into the system as being for council use.

Ms Bryant pleaded guilty in the Tasmanian Supreme Court to more than 200 charges including 60 counts of fraud and 116 counts of inserting false information as data.

Her husband Jamie Glen Bryant, 42, pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud over presenting fraudulent purchase orders to retailers like Bunnings, Harvey Norman and Beaurepaires.

Casey Maree Bryant used her job at a Tasmanian council to fraudulently buy household items adding up to $130,000 over eight years, the majority from Bunnings  

Ms Bryant also used a council United Fuel Card to purchase petrol when the card was linked to a council-owned diesel vehicle.

Among the $130,000 in goods scammed between 2012 and 2020 were items  purchased from retailers such as Brierly Hose and Battery World.

But the majority was from Bunnings and included barbecue tools, a lawnmower and a water feature valued at $1,000.

Her offending only stopped when a Bunnings employee notified council of a discrepancy in their account which then led to a council investigation. 

The court heard the offending occurred when the couple had significant expenditures such as a mortgage, car loans and IVF treatments but Justice Stephen Estcourt described the scam as ‘calculated’. 

He said the pair had deprived the small council, serving 2.200 residents, from much needed funds for their own personal gain. 

However he noted the couple had four children, including two newborns.

‘If she was incarcerated the newly born twins would suffer as a consequence,’ he said, as reported by the ABC.

Ms Bryant was sentenced to 18-months of home detention with electronic monitoring.

She will also have to do 210 hours of community service and repay council more than $5,000 and an insurer more than $127,000.

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