Home Australia From a private jet to a police cell: Rosemary Rogers charged over alleged NAB fraud

From a private jet to a police cell: Rosemary Rogers charged over alleged NAB fraud

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It was four years of the good life for Rosemary Rogers.

A one-month family holiday to Europe worth almost $188,000, where accommodation alone cost $70,000.

An ongoing supply of bank cheques worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and prepaid credit cards, one alone worth $37,000.

Numerous trips and private helicopter transfers to the exclusive Emirates resort at Wolgan Valley, a single three-night stay for six people costing $40,000.

And even a $485,000 holiday for eight people from New York to Washington, Miami and Hawaii – with flights alone costing $150,000.

It reads like an itinerary for the rich and famous, but the perks were just some of the alleged bribes paid to Ms Rogers between 2013 and 2017, for her alleged role in a large-scale bank fraud worth $40 million.

As the then-chief of staff to the former boss of the National Australia Bank Andrew Thorburn and his predecessor Cameron Clyne, Ms Rogers allegedly accepted multiple extravagant bribes to approve bloated invoices submitted to the bank for services provided by Sydney-based events and human resources company Human Group.

On Tuesday the 43-year-old travelled to Sydney from her Melbourne home to present herself to investigators at Surry Hills police station, where she became the second person to be arrested over the alleged kickbacks scam.

She has been charged with 56 counts of being an agent corruptly receiving a benefit, and dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception.

It is alleged Ms Rogers’ actions even impacted her own family, who contributed a portion of the cost of the $485,000 holiday to the US directly into Ms Rogers’ bank account, according to bank records.

The mother of two appeared via audio-visual link at Central Local Court on Tuesday afternoon, where she was granted conditional bail.

A lawyer for Ms Rogers told the court she was not in a position to put forward any financial surety, but nor was she “in a position to abscond,” as a result of freezing orders placed over her personal assets by the NSW Crime Commission last year.

The assets included Ms Rogers’ $6.2 million property portfolio, three of her bank accounts and a $1 million NAB bank cheque.

Ms Rogers’ matter is next scheduled to be heard at Central Local Court on March 19, however she is not required to appear on that date.

Her court appearance on Tuesday follows the arrest of Helen Rosamond, Human Group chief executive and Ms Rogers’ co-accused, who was apprehended at her Potts Point home on Friday last week.

Ms Rosamond, also 43, spent the weekend in jail after she was charged with more than 50 bribery and corruption related offences linked to regular bribes she allegedly paid to Ms Rogers to secure her approval of over-inflated invoices.

Police allege Ms Rosamond was behind the various benefits paid to Ms Rogers in the four-year period, such as a $46,000 boat, which has since been seized, an almost $250,000 holiday to Fiji and multiple trips on private jets, helicopters and luxury cruises around the world.

Ms Rosamond successfully applied for bail in Central Local Court on Friday, after offering a $200,000 surety. However it was not until Monday that all documents and funds could be finalised to allow for her release.

She is next due to appear before Central Local Court on March 19.

Local court Magistrate Robert Williams presided over bail applications for both Ms Rosamond and Ms Rogers, describing the alleged offending behaviour “as quite a sophisticated operation.”

During Ms Rosamond’s bail application a lawyer for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions told the court there was an ongoing “risk of collusion” between the two women, who had been in contact “since being made aware of the investigation” against them.

He alleged the co-accused had “constantly tried to cover up documents…not once, not twice, but multiple times.”

Both women have since been bound to strict bail conditions, including that they do not contact one another, nor any other prosecution witnesses.

In a statement a NAB spokesperson said the bank was a victim of the alleged fraud, which, if proven, represented “a most serious breach of trust by a former employee.”

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