Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fill yer boots

A man who smuggled an estimated half tonne of $2 coins out of the Royal Australian Mint concealed in his boots and lunchbox has been jailed for three years. William Grzeskowiac, 48, of Monash, was described by an ACT Supreme Court judge as a man of previous good character who had succumbed to the temptation to steal from his employer.

Justice Terry Connolly imposed a non-parole period of 18 months and ordered that Grzeskowiac repay $4,000.

The court heard police recovered a total of $135,852 in coins and notes which Grzeskowiac admitted stealing from the mint over a 10-month period.

Justice Connolly criticised Mint security, saying it was extraordinary its systems had failed to detect someone walking out every day with up to 150 coins in each boot.
The prosecution alleged the offender had actually succeeded in exchanging a much larger sum, pointing to diary entries in which he referred to moving specific sums.

However the judge said there was no evidence of such transactions beyond reasonable doubt.

The Mint appeared to have no systems to indicate just how many $2 coins had gone missing.

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