Golf course forced to sell off land after gambler steals $330,000 from club

February 28, 2017

Maintaining a profitable golf operation in these times can be a tough endeavor. Imagine the struggle when an employee swindles over $300,000 from the business.

In Australia this week, Sharon Breyiannis was sent to prison after admitting to stealing money from Rossdale Golf Club to feed her gambling addiction. The court had given her time to repay the debt -- she was originally arrested in 2014 -- but after failing to do so, was given a three-year sentence.

According to Rossdale, the club lost hundreds of members due to Breyiannis' actions, which occurred over three summers . Because of the loss of funds, the course's condition fell into despair. Rossdale eventually had to sell off part of its land to stay afloat.

Eventually, outside auditors discovered financial irregularities, finding out that Breyiannis had been embezzling from membership fees, pro shop purchases and food sales. In statements read by victims, members claim resignation from the club correlated to loss of friends and feelings of failure, guilt, sadness and anger.

According to the Herald Sun, Breyiannis pleaded guilty to three charges of theft, spanning 66 instances of stealing as financial officer. Breyiannis claimed the money was spent on poker machines.