Clive Peeters’ “delusional” thief gaoled for five years

Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: The infamous Clive Peeters embezzler has been sentenced to eight years in gaol with possible parole in five years.

Sonya Denise Causer, 39, worked for the collapsed electrical retailer for two years as a payroll officer. The disgraced employee pleaded guilty yesterday to 24 charges of misappropriating $19.3 million of company funds in what Justice Jack Forrest described as a “sophisticated” scheme.

The money was used to purchase 44 properties, luxury cars and 1,000 teddy bears. The court accepted Causer was delusional due to work and home pressures. It has been reported this sentence will be hard on her two autistic children.

However, Justice Jack Forrest said despite Causer’s guilty plea and cooperation with the authorities, the criminal behaviour, which in part led to the collapse of Clive Peeters, was deserving of a significant sentence.

“It is necessary to send a message to all those in positions of trust and handling large, or for that matter small sums of money, that dishonest dealings with those funds must result in significant punishment,” said Justice Forrest during the sentencing.

The electronics retailer, which was placed in the hands of receivers in May and since bought by retail giant Harvey Norman, has recovered $16.3 million of the stolen funds.

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