Man used stolen funds for own businesses

A MAN who abused his ‘‘trusted and respected position’’ at two Newcastle junior sports clubs was sentenced to home detention on Wednesday after a magistrate described how the offender stole to prop up his struggling businesses.

Anthony Webb, 48, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of five months before the case was adjourned so he could undergo a home detention assessment.

Magistrate Ian Cheetham  indicated that if Webb was suitable for home detention, he would also be ordered to perform community service after previously pleading guilty to four fraud charges.

Webb ripped off Wests Junior Cricket Club of almost $28,000 and Wests Schoolboy Football Club of more than $60,000 when he was treasurer, Newcastle Local Court heard.

Webb stole the money to prop up his two struggling smash repair businesses and had justified his offending by claiming that his dishonesty had kept people in work and he intended to pay back the money, Mr Cheetham said.

Family members came to Webb’s aid to repay the clubs while Webb was subject to bankruptcy proceedings.

The frauds came to light when the board that supervised the clubs noticed discrepancies in the finances.

The case will return to court next month.

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