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Jail for beauty products fraud

CourierMail.com.au

THE disgruntled manager of a beauty product supply company fleeced her employers of more than $90,000 because she thought she wasn't being paid enough, a court heard today.

Rochelle Maurece Rostirolla, 38, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Brisbane to defrauding $91,120 from Salon Pacific Supplies between June 2005 and August 2008.

The court was told the woman either transferred the company's money to her credit card accounts or used it to pay personal debts such as washing the dog, pool maintenance, children's photographic portraits, gym fees and holidays.

Judge Wally Tutt heard Rostirolla had come to manage the company after she befriended one of the owners at a child care facility both women used for their children.

Prosecutor Phil McCarthy said Rostriolla's friendship with the owners meant she was given complete and unsupervised control of the business.

It was this complete trust in the woman that enabled her to carry out the deception, he said.

"A strong message needs to be sent to the community; you simply can't steal from your employer," Mr McCarthy said.

Defence lawyer Michael Anderson, for Rostirolla, said the peculiar circumstances of the case meant the unusual step should be taken that Rostirolla serve no time in jail.

Mr Anderson said his client was the sole supporter of her two children and provided care for her ill parents.

He said Rostirolla had acted "stupidly" but had shown immediate remorse.

Mr Anderson said Rostirolla had sold her family home to make a restitution payment of $158,000 to the company owners, nearly $70,000 more than the agreed scale of her fraud.

Judge Tutt sentenced Rostirolla to three years jail to be suspended after she had served six months.