The kickbacks were also part of an ongoing agreement between the pair, namely that Rogers would receive them if she showed favour to Human Group by ensuring the company “continued to be used by NAB to provide event management including new opportunities,” court documents note.
Ms Rosamond will face a trial next year involving separate charges for her alleged involvement. Neither Mr Thorburn nor Mr Clyne is accused of any wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, Rogers pleaded guilty to multiple charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and being an agent corruptly receiving a benefit.
In one transaction before the court, Human Group issued an invoice for ‘Project Eagle’ totalling $2.2 million which supposedly related to the onboarding cost of former premier Mike Baird, then chief customer officer in September 2017.
Ms Rosamond emailed the invoice to Rogers, who then forwarded it to NAB’s finance partner. By October 3, 2017, the invoice had been paid by NAB to Human Group. But Mr Baird’s onboard training cost was $60,000 and was invoiced by another company, court documents note.
Human Group was not involved in the onboarding of Mr Baird and Rogers knew this, the agreed facts state.
Rogers appeared for a sentencing hearing at Downing Centre Court on Monday, in which her lawyer said she “doesn’t really understand why she came to commit these offences”.
“[It’s] difficult to provide an explanation for why she was prepared to go along with this … Greed provides a partial explanation … the other explanation is the one that [Rogers’] explained, she was under extreme stress,” her lawyer Mark Tedeschi, QC, said.
“She had this amazing commitment to the bank and felt guilty she was neglecting members of her immediate family and saw these holidays and what the money could bring them as a way of assuaging her guilt.
“It might be that at the end of the day, all one can say is that it was partially greed, partially … she was so involved she didn’t know how to get out of it.”
He also told the court Rogers had “never done anything like this before” and said her willingness to provide assistance to the Crown should result in a reduced sentence.
But the Crown prosecutor said Rogers had not “provide information not known to authorities of any significant kind”.
They also argued Rogers had been motivated by greed “and took personal benefit” from the money she received, including “some sort of gratification for the holidays she took”.
One such holiday was a trip from Melbourne to Sydney for Rogers and 12 other passengers in 2013 for a family member’s 50th birthday, the agreed facts note. Each person flew business class, stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel, went on a charter boat and dined at the Quay and Catalina restaurants. The trip cost $66,517 and was expensed to the Human Group.
The documents also note that over the years, Rogers and Ms Rosamond became close. Text messages from 2016 and 2018 between them showed they referred to each other as “bestie” and “sister from another mother”.
In 2015, Ms Rosamond amended her will and instructed that a five per cent share of her estate be given to Rogers.
The women’s ruse unravelled when a whistle-blower sent a letter to NAB executives and chairman of the board of directors on December 6, 2017. The letter noted “Rose”, which court documents note is Rogers, had been receiving money and gifts from Ms Rosamond over a number of years.
The following day, Rogers was asked to come into NAB to discuss the matters raised. Rogers participated in an interview with the bank’s investigators, in which she stated she had a “purely business relationship” with Ms Rosamond and denied being “friends of a personal nature”, court documents note.
On December 11, Rogers attended the NAB and said she “had a serious lapse of judgment”. She offered to resign and gave a handwritten resignation letter.
Court documents note the bank’s investigation into the fraud has cost it $2.8 million.
“Rogers has not paid any amount by way of remuneration to the bank. To date, NAB has not been able to reclaim any of the money from Human Group that has been fraudulently obtained as a result of Rogers approving fraudulent invoices,” the documents state.
The matter has been adjourned to January 27.
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Laura is a crime reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.