A misappropriation court case covered by the Times of Malta is the latest example of the impact gambling addiction could have on professional and personal aspects of life. This time, the outcome seems to be optimal for both the addict and the public, though.
Gambling Problem Leads to Siphoning Company Money
The first working day of 2022 in Malta brought a court hearing for 33-year-old Joanne Borg from Mosta, who had been accused of stealing money from her employer while working at a lotto booth. The total amount of money siphoned for gambling purposes was estimated to be around €7,000.
Facing charges of fraud, misappropriation, and fabricating of false evidence, Borg registered a court admission and confirmed her early guilty plea after being given time to reconsider. According to the prosecution, the amounts wagered suggested she was suffering from gambling addiction.
The court, presided by magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech did not turn a deaf ear to punishment submissions that asked it to consider sentencing Borg to a probation period paired with a treatment order to give her a chance to address her gambling problem.
All Is Good When It Ends Good
Generously, the court found the accused guilty on all counts but ruled for a three-year probation period coupled with a three-year treatment period and restraining from gambling orders, instead of what the law provides in cases like these, up to 9 years in jail.
The court labeled the ruling the mark of a new chapter for the accused but was quick to warn Borg that if she failed to appreciate the second chance she had been given and somehow ended up breaching the court orders, she would be facing a punishment appropriate to the extent of her original crimes.
Borg, who had already returned to her previous employer a small chunk of the total misappropriation amount, was still due some €6,820, money she would be able to reimburse in installments following the probation sentence she received. The installments would be passed on to her victim through the defense lawyer, the court ruled.