Worker who stole $3.1m jailed, says he always knew he would get busted

A bookeeper who stole millions from his boss always knew he would be found out, but just tried not to think about it.
老域名购买

Peter John Gretton, 59,became addicted to the ruse during his 12-year theft spree.

It finally came to an end on Thursday with a 27-month jail sentence in the Albury District Court, handed down in front of his former bosses.

Gretton stole $3.1 million from the Jones Group, which operates the Siesta Hotel, Quality Hotel on Olive Street, and Quality Hotel at Wangaratta.

Worker who stole $3.1m jailed, says he always knew he would get busted LOCKED UP: Peter John Gretton, centre, is embraced by two friends and their puppy outside the Albury court precinct on Wednesday. He was jailed on Thursday for at least two years and three months for stealing $3.1 million.

LOCKED UP: Peter John Gretton, centre, is embraced by two friends and their puppy outside the Albury court precinct on Wednesday. He was jailed on Thursday for at least two years and three months for stealing $3.1 million.

MOVING ON: Stephen Jones, pictured right, says he is keen to put the matter behind him.

TweetFacebookThe once-trusted employee was caught last November following his retirement, but was shocked he wasn’t busted muchearlier.

He had arrived home one day 13 years ago and found his wife, kids and furniture were all gone.

Their divorce left him only $10,000 and the court heard his wife got $300,000.

Gretton struggled to make ends meet, which was further stressed when his two childrenmoved in with him.

His rort started off with a single theft to cover cash needed for his vehicle.

He wrote his first dodgy cheque to himself in 2002 and was surprised it wasn’t detected.

Judge Clive Jeffreys noted Gretton had thought to himself, “that was easy … I might have to do that again, but only if I need to”.

He later told a psychologist:“I knew I would eventually get caught, I sort of just blocked it out”.

His drinking and gambling escalated out of control and he became hooked on having cash and nice things.

The judge noted he felt “powerless to stop (the) cycle of offending which had reached addictive proportions”.

Despite the value of his crimes, he will ultimately be left with nothing to his name.

The court heard there was about $650,000 available for possible compensation.

Stephen Jones of the hotel groupsaid he felt awful about the situation.

“We’re just very sorry that the whole thing’s happened,” he said.

“It’s caused us a lot of distress. We just want to put it behind us. We just want to move on.”

Gretton will be eligible for parole in August 2020, with a maximum term of four years and six months.

He did not react as the sentence was handed down and he was led to jail.

Border Mail

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation