A man who set up three companies to steal $150,000 from his employer over seven years is appealing the severity of an 18 month jail term that was handed down to him on Monday.
Garth Weiley was released on bail on Monday afternoon after lodging an appeal in the district court over Magistrate David Price's sentence, which included a 12 month non-parole period.
According to a statement of facts tendered to the court, Weiley used a corporate credit card to pay three companies he had set up - each of which he was the sole director - over a seven year period while he was general manager of Event Cinemas at Glendale and Kotara.
The facts said Weiley, an Australian Labor Party member who had an unsuccessful tilt at the Lake Macquarie council election in 2016, used Oncue Communications, Innova New and Hunter Online Printing to invoice Event Cinemas for services the company says were not required or authorised.
When the invoices were paid, the facts said, the money went into a PayPal account in Weiley's name.
Most of the charges were for amounts less than $1000, which meant Weiley had the authority to approve the spending without oversight from his superiors.
Weiley resigned in December, 2017, and received his full entitlements amid an internal investigation into allegations of fraud against him within the company.
The investigation uncovered payments by Weiley to his three other businesses and the matter was handed over to police.
The court heard on Monday that Weiley used the money to pay the mortgage on his family home along with rent for two other properties.
He sold the family home after being charged and paid back two thirds of the money he took, the court heard.
Weiley pleaded guilty to one count of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception on the morning the matter was due for hearing last November.
Magistrate Price said, given Weiley paid no interest on the money he returned, he effectively had the benefit of borrowing a large sum of money interest-free over seven years.
He said Weiley's actions were "systematic" and the man had used his position to gain a benefit to which he was not entitled.
Magistrate Price said he accepted Weiley's demonstration of "sincere remorse" and took into account his lack of criminal history.
The prosecution called for Weiley to repay the outstanding $50,000 to Event Cinemas, but Magistrate Price said it would be "excessive and punitive" to make such an order if a full-time custodial sentence was imposed.
The appeal will be heard at Newcastle District Court on March 16.
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