Addict goes to Jail

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Pathological gambler jailed

A pathological gambler was on Monday effectively jailed for six years for stealing more than R900 000 from Sanlam, while employed by the insurance company as a client service representative.

Natalie Young, a 29-year-old mother, appeared in the Bellville commercial crimes court, where magistrate Amrith Chabilall found her guilty on 102 counts of fraud, involving R903 174.

The hearing took the form of plea-bargain proceedings, in which clinical psychologist Larry Loebenstein diagnosed Young as a pathological gambler.

Loebenstein said Young had as a child been sexually abused by her uncle, and the failure of her parents to protect her had caused her depressive disorders and her problematic gambling behaviour.

He said pathological gambling was a serious mental disorder, and that Young was receiving treatment at Gamblers Anonymous in Kraaifontein, near Bellville.

Prosecutor Johann Agulhas told the court that Young had gambled the stolen Sanlam funds on internet sites such as Casino Piggs Peak, Monaco Gold, Club Dice, Carnival, Gold Coast, Grand West and Club Mykonos.

She was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, of which four were conditionally suspended. - Sapa
 
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