Former NAB chief of staff jailed

Former NAB chief of staff Rosemary Rogers has been sentenced to four years and nine months’ non-parole as part of a maximum eight-year jail term for her involvement in large scale bank fraud.

According to a report by The Australian, the former chief of staff to NAB CEO Andrew Thorburn pleaded guilty in October last year to 64 charges related to more than $23m in inflated and illegitimate invoices submitted to NAB.

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The court had heard Rogers engaged in large scale fraud over many years, funnelling millions to herself and her alleged accomplice, Human Group’s Helen Rosamond. It found Rogers had used the funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle that included overseas holidays, home renovations and the purchase of a mansion.

According to The Australian, sentencing judge Paul Conlon said he found it “absolutely staggering” that NAB had not picked up on the fraud earlier “by some appropriate system of internal audit.”

Instead, the scheme was unveiled via a whistle blower who sent a letter to all NAB executives and board members just days after Rogers reportedly secured a massive payment from Rosamond for the purchase of a new home.

The Australian reported that Rosamond was also alleged to have paid for Rogers’ holidays to Europe and Fiji and a luxury BMW as well as largely funding the purchase of two boats and a caravan. Rosamond also allegedly gave Rogers $1.85m to put towards a mansion worth $3.8m.

Judge Conlon found that Rogers’ fraudulent activity came as a severe and ongoing financial hit to NAB. The Australian reported that Rogers had the personal authority to approve invoices of up to $20m in her role as chief of staff from 2013 to 2017. She was found to have signed off on invoices submitted by Human Group that netted her almost $5.5m in gifts, luxury items and trips, said The Australian.

The court heard Rogers had already repaid $4.35m back to NAB.

Rosamond is due to face trial later this year.