Former rehab facility boss defrauds $250k from service
THE former boss of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service in Tennant Creek has been sentenced for embezzling more than $245,000 from the organisation through an "elaborate" scheme which "involved numerous lies and complicated subversion over a long period of time".
Stewart Naylor, 60, last year pleaded guilty to seven counts of obtaining benefit by deception during his time at the Barkly Region Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Group (BRADAAG).
BRADAAG is the only provider of alcohol and drug rehabilitation services for the Barkly Region and education programs in the community, and covers an area of approximately 320,000 square kilometres.
Naylor's offending stretched over eight years when he worked as director and then CEO of the service prior to when he left the organisation in 2016.
The court heard he claimed fraudulent overtime, including for periods when he was at a casino and on holidays overseas, and claimed reimbursement for personal expenses he made on his credit card including for furniture, clothing, TV's, taxi fares and yard maintenance, and personal travel expenses including airfares.
The court heard he claimed they were legitimate expenses to BRADAGG to the bookkeeper at the time.
The court heard Naylor, a former drug addict, "found the job stressful" and was gambling on the side during his time there.
"The loss of your wife has understandably caused considerable grief and you say that she was the main support which had prevented you from relapsing into alcohol and drug use, however you have remained drug free since she died," Chief Justice Judith Kelly said.
Justice Kelly said Naylor displayed a serious breach of trust.
"You stole from your employer and stealing from the public person is considered to be a particularly serious breach of trust, particularly when the money was being taken from an organisation like BRADAAG, where it was intended to benefit from the most vulnerable members of our community.
"Your offending caused considerable reputational damage to that worthwhile organisation."
Justice Kelly said despite a letter from Naylor which stated he was genuinely remorseful, she had trouble believing so.
"You showed no hesitation to steal from your employer for many years," she said.
Naylor was sentenced to five years and three months prison.
Originally published as Former NT rehab facility boss defrauds almost $250k from service