A former employee at Australia’s oldest charity allegedly pocketed almost $150,000 in cash payments for Meals on Wheels services over more than six years.
Marlene Barry, 72, appeared in the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, charged with stealing property as a clerk or servant.
Ms Barry was arrested and charged after her former employer, The Benevolent Society, noticed discrepancies in its bank accounts in September last year.
Private forensic investigators later found discrepancies worth $148,984.05, which occurred between December 2007 and August 2014, in the organisation’s accounts.
Ms Barry, a client account officer who left The Benevolent Society last year after an eight-year career, was identified as a potential suspect.
It is understood she left the charity before the allegations came to light.
She was arrested and charged on September 30 with stealing property as a servant.
It will be alleged she had been receiving cash for payments for a Meals on Wheels service but would not bank the whole amounts in The Benevolent Society account.
The payments were the fees clients paid to have Meals on Wheels.
On Thursday, Ms Barry entered a plea of not guilty.
Her bail conditions were varied to allow her to move from Avalon, on the northern beaches, to nearby Narrabeen.
She will reappear in court on December 3.
The Benevolent Society was Australia’s first charity and provides support to a range of community groups, including the elderly, children and the disadvantaged.
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