MORIAH College says it is “continuing to pursue all other avenues available to it” to recover more than $7 million stolen from the school by its former financial controller Gus Nosti, after the NSW Supreme Court last week ordered him to repay the funds.
In a scathing judgement, Justice David Hammerschlag described Nosti as a “thief” who, as a trusted and senior employee of Moriah, “owed it fiduciary duties which he breached in the most egregious fashion”.
The court heard between January 2004 to March 2019, Nosti stole $7,337,282 having had control over Moriah’s bank account and access to the tax portal on its behalf. He admitted to the thefts last month.
#BREAKING NSW Police have spoken of the "astronomical" alleged fraud at Moriah College by its former financial controller Gus Nosti, estimated at $7.4 million over 12 years. "It’s very disappointing for the school that they employed somebody for such a long time who has taken advantage of the money," police say.Read more: https://ajn.timesofisrael.com/charges-laid-over-alleged-moriah-fraud-case/Video: Courtesy Nine News
פורסם על ידי The Australian Jewish News ב- יום חמישי, 7 במאי 2020
“He stole by transferring money from Moriah’s bank account to various bank accounts in his name, bank accounts or credit card accounts in [wife] Melynda’s name, and a joint offset bank account in his, Melynda’s and [sister-in-law]’s names, and by diverting tax refunds into such accounts,” Justice Hammerschlag said.
“Gus gambled away a lot of what he stole, mostly by playing poker slot machines at the Greenfield Tavern, which is not far from the house.”
The judge described the 57-year-old as a “heavy gambler and, by all accounts, a heavy drinker”, who had a “penchant for luxury motor cars”, boats and overseas travel.
Noting his “terrible” gambling addiction, Justice Hammerschlag said Nosti “had a foolish idea that he could repay [the stolen money] when his luck improved. But, unfortunately, he kept on losing and kept on taking more and more to win back what he’d lost”.
“Often when he was working, he would go to a hotel or club to gamble during his lunch break or after work,” the judge said.
The court found Nosti stole “on an almost daily basis”, with thefts ranging from $5000 to $50,000 and “sometimes six figure amounts at a time”.
He was ordered to repay $7,337,282 together with court costs. His wife was ordered to repay $77,905, representing the misappropriations she received after notice of Moriah’s court claim. The court did not accept she had sufficient knowledge of Nosti’s theft.
In a letter to parents, Moriah president Stephen Jankelowitz said, “The college reassures the community that in addition to implementing the above judgments, it is continuing to pursue all other avenues available to it to recover the stolen funds.”