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Gambling chef who lost $100k gets community work

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Gambling chef who lost $100k gets community work

Post by jock2007 on Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:07 pm

IAN STEWARD wrote:Gambling chef who lost $100k gets community work

A chef who gambled away more than $100,000 after it was accidentally put into his bank account has been sentenced to community detention.

Mehdi Soheili, 32, appeared for sentence in the Auckland District Court today after pleading guilty to stealing $106,217.

Soheili's lawyer, Shannon Withers, said his client had made an "unwise series of decisions" motivated by his addiction to gambling.

In November 2013, more than $141,000 was accidentally placed into his account by a bank teller.

Rather than report it, Soheili spent the money on repaying debts and on gambling.

He spent $106,000 in the eight days it took the bank to uncover the error and freeze the account.

The bank, the name of which is suppressed, has turned the missing money into a $106,000 overdraft that Soheili is slowly repaying.

The court heard Soheili had repaid $2250 since his last appearance in September.

Withers said his client had been assessed and he had scored 16 out of 27 on the problem gambling scale when a score over eight was considered problematic.​

Soheili had placed an exclusion order on himself from the Sky City Casino, but not until six months after he was charged.

Judge Tony Fitzgerald said it was opportunistic offending.

"The temptation proved too much for you when you discovered the money in your account, particularly with your addiction to gambling."

Judge Fitzgerald sentenced Soheili to community detention saying that if he had imposed home detention, Soheili would have not been able to continue working and repaying his debt.

Community detention involves living on a curfew monitored by an electronic bracelet.

Reparation with as also ordered, to be paid at a rate of no less than $150 per week, as was 200 hours community work.

The name of the bank involved was permanently suppressed.​
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