The former corporate player says she can't find legal representation
A judge has delayed the trial of a former corporate player alleged to have engaged in a massive invoice fraud at National Australia Bank after she was unable to find legal representation.
Helen Rosamond, the owner of events company Human group, had been set to go to trial July 26 for her alleged role in the $40 million fraud, according to a report by The Australian. Rosamond is facing 73 charges, including attempting to dishonestly benefit by deception and knowingly using a false statement to induce a person to act so as to provide an actual advantage. She has pleaded not guilty.
On Tuesday, Rosamond’s lawyers successfully sought to vacate the trial date. The trial is now likely to take place early next year, according to The Australian.
Lawyers for the crown opposed the application, saying they were ready to bring the case to trial. But Rosamond’s lawyers said she could not afford a senior council after having her assets frozen by NAB.
The bank froze Rosamond’s accounts in an attempt to prevent her from using assets it is trying to recover to fight the charges.
Rosamond’s lawyers said they had made an application for legal aid in March, but were unable to find a senior representative in that time with the budget available, The Australian reported.
Read more: Former NAB chief of staff jailed
Rosamond allegedly participated in a scheme that paid out millions of dollars in inflated invoices. Her trial follows the conviction of former NAB chief of staff Rosemary Rogers in January for her role in a kickbacks scheme. A court found that Rogers had profited from $5.5 million in kickbacks from illegitimate and inflated invoices, The Australian reported. The scam was revealed when a whistleblower sent a letter to all NAB executives and board members.
The judge found that Rogers had approved inflated invoices for payments to Human Group for several years, and Rogers received kickback payments – allegedly from Rosamond – which she used to fund a lavish lifestyle.
Rogers was sentenced to eight years, with a non-parole period of four years and nine months, The Australian reported. That sentence was shortened after Rogers agreed to provide a statement against Rosamond.