Kiwi warehouse worker could be deported from Australia for stealing $562,000 worth of electric cabling
A Melbourne warehouse employee faces deportation to New Zealand for stealing more than $500,000 worth of electric cabling that he later sold online.
Michael Levy, 43, was sentenced on Tuesday to three years in prison, with a minimum period of one year and eight months, for stealing from the distribution centre, in the suburb of Dandenong, where he worked.
Levy's theft was discovered when Schneider Electric found its electrical switches and cabling were being sold on auction site eBay for below retail or wholesale prices.
The New Zealand-born man later admitted to police he had stolen the supplies between 2013 and late 2014 to cover debts from a gambling addiction.
"You were working and stealing the items in a systematic and organised fashion," Victorian County Court judge Jane Patrick said.
"Your theft constitutes very serious breaches of the trust of your employer."
When police searched Levy's home in 2014, they found keys to two storage units he had rented to keep the stolen electric wiring.
Police also found the records of the sales Levy had made.
Levy pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and one charge of dealing with property suspected of being proceeds of crime.
Judge Patrick said Levy's thefts totalled A$536,315.50 (NZD$562,000).
"You engaged in deliberate dishonesty and careful planning and organisation in taking the items and then on-selling them," she said.
The judge said Levy continued stealing from the warehouse even after his gambling problems appeared to be under control.
"I do not accept that gambling was your sole and continued motivation," she said.
Some of the money was used to purchase a car, which authorities have seized as proceeds of crime.
Levy, who has lived in Australia since he was a teenager after migrating from New Zealand, faces deportation as a result of his offending.