Australians are some of the most prolific gamblers on Earth and this has often raised the question of problem gambling. One such story led Lisa Trison to a life of crime with the woman now sentenced to serve jail time over the embezzlement of money from several employers in order to sustain her gambling habits.
Mother Turns to Theft to Fuel Gambling
Trison’s actions resulted in the theft of AU$312,000 or $230,000 from employers over the course of several years. The Australian, a local media outlet, reported extensively on her descent into a gambling lifestyle which prompted her to steal from employers. Although the media did not mention addiction explicitly, her behavior is reminiscent of an addict. Trison worked with Advance Records Management (ARM) where she ended up embezzling AU$95,000 ($70,000).
ARM did open an investigation into the missing money but initially concluded that the discrepancies were a result of disorganization more so than any premeditated criminal act. The company eventually caught up that there was foul play involved and went to court with Trison who was given bail.
In the meantime, Trison held a job with a timber company where she managed to take AU$17,000 off the company’s books, or roughly $12,500. This job also ended and she moved on to work for Geelong Arts Center as an accountant. Her position with the company quickly fell through as well as she ended up embezzling some AU$200,000 or $146,000 from the company.
Her Most Serious Sting Yet and the Fallout
While Trison spent money on other activities apart from gambling, including holidays, and luxury goods, her impulse to gamble continued all throughout her escapades. However, Trison was known to have participated in different wrongdoings in the past, but covered her tracks more or less. She participated in an AU$500,000 ($366,000) fraud scheme in the early 2000s.
Trison has been awaiting the decision of her trial since 2020 when the final complaint against her was placed. A judge has handed her a six-year and two-month sentence and she may now apply for parole in four and a half years.
Trison’s descent into crime may not be entirely chalked up to her. While gambling addiction was not brought up during her trial, her compulsiveness to steal from her employer and gamble money is indicative of a reckless gambling disorder. Furthermore, Trison’s father was a small-time scammer who died in jail serving a sentence.
She was exposed to a bad home environment from the start. Trison has a child. The media did not report how old the child was or who would be taking care of it while Trison is in prison. Australia is already thinking of ways to limit gambling for consumers and find ways to limit the harmful impact of gambling.