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Cemetery worker jailed over crypt fraud

A Brisbane woman pocketed almost $700,000 in cash paid to the Catholic Church for 167 burial plots and crypts during a five-year period, a court was told on Friday.

Stallan, 41, was jailed for six years after pleading guilty in the Brisbane District Court to one count of fraud. Prosecutor David Meredith said Stallan used the money to gamble.

In a written schedule of facts tendered to the court, the prosecution said Stallan started collecting money from people for the purchase of burial plots at Nudgee Cemetery.

"Stallan did not bank all of the monies that were paid to her to the church's bank account as required," the schedule said. "She took cash that was given to her and requested clients to make cheques payable to `K Stallan Nudgee Cemetery, which she deposited to her account.

The court was told it was unlikely the church would recover any money as most of was gambled. The court was told Stallan's husband was the cemetery sexton and he was unceremoniously sacked as a result of his wife's fraud.

The Archdiocese of Brisbane has subsequently refunded money to clients or has honoured claims to burial sites.

The court was told Stallon admitted her fraud in letters she wrote before attempting suicide.

District Court Judge Michael Noud jailed Stallon for six years but recommended she be eligible for parole after serving two years.

Grave fraud wife jailed (Townsville Bulletin)
Cemetery worker jailed over crypt fraud (The Courier-Mail 15/11/03 - requires payment)

Nudgee Cemetery (website of Councillor Kim Flessor, Northgate Ward, Brisbane City Council)

17 Nov 2003