A high-ranking NAB staffer has been sentenced to eight years in jail after committing multimillion-dollar fraud motivated by “greed, personal gain and self-gratification”.
Former NAB chief of staff Rosemary Rogers was sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison, with a non-parole period of four years and nine months, after receiving millions in kickbacks for approving inflated invoices for event management company Human Group. Ms Rogers had a close personal relationship with Human Group director Helen Rosamond and spent the kickbacks on luxury cars, home renovations, and extended holidays.
“I find it absolutely staggering that this fraud was not detected by some appropriate system of internal auditing by NAB,” said Judge Paul Conlon in his sentencing remarks.
“All that was required was for Human Group to submit invoices that were devoid of detail and the offender would merely approve them courtesy of her delegated authority.”
Ms Roger’s sentencing is an ugly reminder of the bad old days of big bank malfeasance, with millions of dollars in bribes – including $2.2 million in fraudulent payments ostensibly made for the purposes of onboarding former chief customer officer Mike Baird – going unscrutinised.
“The issue was first reported by a whistleblower and I thank them for coming forward and alerting us to this illegal activity, enabling NAB to investigate thoroughly and refer it to the police,” said NAB chief legal counsel Sharon Cook.
“NAB has zero tolerance for any criminal activity. Where criminal conduct is identified, we will refer it to the police. Since becoming aware of the issue, we have made changes to strengthen controls in our organisation, including changing delegations and introducing additional checks on expenses.”
Ms Cook said that NAB was “pleased” with the outcome of the investigation and that it would take court action to recover the proceeds of the alleged fraud, but declined to comment further due to a second case centring on Ms Rosamond, who is awaiting trial for bribery and fraud for her part in the scheme.
Ms Rogers worked at NAB for more than 20 years and spent nine years as chief of staff to chief executives Cameron Clyne and Andrew Thorburn. There is no suggestion that Mr Thorburn or any other NAB employees were aware of the wrongdoing.