A former Bacchus Marsh Motocross Club committee member has been found guilty of stealing thousands of dollars of cash payments for her own use.
Karina Atanasovski, 35, was the not-for-profit club’s canteen manager from the end of 2014 to November 2015, and also managed the club’s memberships.
But the mother-of-three, who was responsible for banking cash received from club meets, is believed to have taken more than $8000 in cash for personal use.
Magistrate Ronald Saines found Atanasovski guilty of one charge of theft on Thursday after a two-day contested hearing at the Ballarat Magistrates Court.
He told Atanasovski she breached her position of trust by pocketing the money and she had shown no remorse.
“This is a serious example of theft, punishable by five years’ imprisonment,” Mr Saines said.
“You were in breach of trust extended to you by a not-for-profit organisation.”
The court was told the Bacchus Marsh Motocross Club held a number of events during the year where cash from sources, including gate takings and membership payments, were taken to the canteen.
At the end of the day, Atanasovski and the former club president Wade Cunningham would count the cash and the canteen profit.
It was Atanasovski’s role to bank the money, but bank statements showed after March 31, 2015, and up until November 2015, there were only two cash deposits.
Mr Saines said he accepted the motocross club’s audit practices were appalling, with a system that relied on honesty.
“I am satisfied the accused had large amount of cash in her possession. She was aware of the slack supervision of her management,” he said.
“This is highly likely to be $8000 or more. On the evidence it’s clear cash that should have been deposited has been and remaines unaccounted for.”
Atanasovski abruptly left the club’s annual general meeting in November 2015 when its finances were raised.
A committee member phoned her and later attended her house to collect the club’s membership property but numerous club room keys were absent.
Atanasovski’s defence called for a community corrections order or fine, saying she was struggling with personal issues at the time.
She was convicted and fined $8000 and ordered to pay $7687 compensation, $81.10 court costs and $690 witness costs.