19 Feb 2010

Former bank consultant jailed for fraud

8:04 pm on 19 February 2010

A former banking consultant has been jailed for stealing $376,000 from the National Bank by creating unauthorised loans.

Emma Joanne O'Dowda, 40, admitted 11 charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, relating to a period of almost three years.

O'Dowda worked as a consultant for the National Bank in Dunedin and was jailed for two years and six months on Friday.

The 40-year-old was tearful during the sentencing at the Dunedin District Court and family members cried as she was taken into custody.

Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said O'Dowda's offending was prolonged, pre-meditated and sophisticated, and that she spent a large amount of the stolen money on luxury items.

The judge acknowledged her remorse and guilty pleas, and noted that she had mental and physical health problems.

However, he said there was a need to deter others from similar crimes and imposed the jail term.