Talk about audacity. A woman has admitted to defrauding financial group ING out of over $56 million, in what's being called the largest embezzlement fraud case by a single individual in Australia's history.
Rajina Rita Subramaniam, 41, siphoned $56 million (in U.S. currency) from ING coffers, which she deposited into private accounts to fund her extravagant lifestyle. The former senior accountant for ING is accused of spending millions of dollars on cars, homes, jewelry, high end clothing, shoes, bags, exotic trips and Michael Jackson memorabilia.
When she was arrested, police recovered a haul of expensive merchandise purchased by Subramaniam, including 600 pieces of jewelry from exclusive lines such as Bulgari, Tag Heuer and Tiffany & Co.; 200 Chanel products including clothing, perfume and makeup, tailored clothing by Hugo Boss and Armani, Mont Blanc stationary and a $600 bottle of Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon champagne.
She allegedly spent more than $16 million on jewelry purchases at Paspaley Pearls jewelry store alone.
ING Group is a global asset management organization with over 54 billion in reported revenue in 2010.
Subramaniam's 20-year web of deceit unraveled in 2009 when suspicious high end retailers complained to ING about Ms. Subramaniam's extravagant million-dollar purchases.
Apparently, the retailers worried that they would be legally responsible if Subramaniam's unlimited cash reserves turned out to be illegally obtained.
In addition to high end shopping sprees, Subramaniam is also alleged to have spent multi-millions on real estate properties in central Sydney, Bondi Beach and the exclusive harbourside suburb of Kirribilli.
She was arrested in Sydney, Australia in December 2009 as she boarded a flight for a wedding in Sri Lanka. Subramaniam is expected to plead guilty to 30 charges next week when she appears in open court. She has been held in jail without bail since her arrest in 2009.