Pub manager in $200k Keno fraud
A MAN has been jailed for fraudulently wagering more than $180,000 he didn't have on Keno while managing a popular Townsville pub.
Alan Joseph Gregory placed 592 Keno bets without paying for a single one of them while he was managing the Australian Hotel on Palmer Street between January and February 2017.
The bets resulted in a payout of just under $200,000.
Gregory paid back the cost of the tickets into the Keno register at the pub and pocketed almost $18,000 for himself.
The 29-year-old pleaded guilty to fraud, in excess of $100,000, and was sentenced in Townsville District Court on Thursday.
Judge Greg Lyham said Gregory placed the bets on four separate dates and was working on each occasion.
He said 121 of the bets were winners and it was through this luck that the monetary loss to Tabcorp (the company defrauded) was not far greater.
"The defendant replaced the money he was credit betting with," Judge Lynham said.
"He was able to do that because he was winning.
"I always worked on the assumption that anyone who played keno had little or no prospects of winning … I might be wrong about that."
The court heard Gregory's offending came to light when Tabcorp inquired about the large amount of Keno wagers registered at the hotel.
The fraudster blatantly lied to these investigators, claiming the pub had some high rolling punters placing large cash bets on Keno.
Eventually the owners of the Australian Hotel were contacted by Tabcorp and they confronted Gregory.
He admitted his guilt to the owners but asked them to help him get away with his crime.
"You asked the CCTV footage be deleted," Judge Lynham said.
"(The owner) said no and requested you hand in your hotel keys and leave.
"Your employment with the hotel was terminated on that day."
The police were made aware of the situation and investigation ensured, unveiling that Gregory would cash in the Keno tickets at other establishments, including The Ville casino.
The court heard Gregory had a history of dishonesty offences, including stealing and credit card fraud.
He was sentenced to three and a half years jail to be eligible for parole after 12 months and was ordered to pay $17,867 in restitution.
Gregory paid others to assist him in his fraud, including his brother Chris Gregory.