MORIAH College’s former financial controller Augustine “Gus” Nosti has admitted to diverting school funds into his personal accounts to the tune of more than $7 million over more than 10 years.
In civil proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday, Nosti agreed to misappropriating the funds by providing his bank details to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) instead of the college’s details.
“It was all done online,” he said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “I changed the bank details online.”
Under cross-examination, Nosti, 57, said he would withdraw “the majority” of the funds in cash to use on his “gambling addiction”, and acknowledged “to a degree” that he was doing the wrong thing.
The SMH reports Nosti agreed that he moved the money through 18 different accounts, including some in his wife’s name.
Moriah is suing Nosti and his wife Melynda, claiming she knowingly received some of the misappropriated funds. She denies the allegations.
The court was told Melynda Nosti let her husband control the family’s finances and believed he was simply “lucky on the pokies”.
The college wants the misappropriated money repaid along with profits “from any use of” it. The school is also seeking damages and legal costs.
Nosti is facing separate criminal charges over the matter.
Police will allege in court he redirected 402 transactions from the college into his personal bank accounts between 2004 and 2016, dishonestly obtaining more than $7.4 million as a result.
“They ranged from $2000 to $240,000,” eastern suburbs command crime manager Inspector Gretchen Atkins said of the alleged transactions.
“They were quite astronomical.”
Atkins said as the school’s “trusted” financial controller, Nosti, was allegedly able to “bury” the transactions.
The maximum penalty for a person found guilty of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception is 10 years’ imprisonment.
The civil hearing, before Justice David Hammerschlag, continues.
Nosti will appear in Waverley Local Court on criminal charges on July 7.