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Vic bank man who preyed on elderly jaile=2

AAP logoAAP 18/10/2016

A Commonwealth Bank concierge who used his position to steal from elderly customers in Melbourne has been jailed for 14 months.

Nikolaos Karkanakis, 31, made unauthorised cash withdrawals and entered false details into the accounts of four customers - three of whom were aged in their 80s and one in her late 70s - between October 2011 and April 2013.

The Preston man stole a total of $146,810, which he used to fund his gambling addiction.

Victorian County Court Judge Barbara Cotterell said he breached the trust of his employer and of the customers who had come to rely on him.

"You preyed on elderly people with whom you had formed a close relationship and who trusted you," Judge Cotterell said on Tuesday.

When Karkanakis was interviewed by Commonwealth Bank investigators he said he regarded one of the customers he stole from as a friend and denied accessing the man's account.

He claimed extra money in his own bank account came from work he did on the side, installing floors and working at a fish and chip shop.

After being charged by police he pleaded guilty to five counts of obtaining property by deception.

Judge Cotterell said Karkanakis' "gross breach of trust" involved planning and foresight.

However, she accepted he had a gambling disorder, and a major depressive disorder that would make time in prison more onerous.

In addition to serving 14 months in prison, Karkanakis must complete 200 hours of unpaid community work as part of a two-year community corrections order.

Judge Cotterell said had he not admitted to his crimes she would have jailed him for four years.

"The public is entitled to have trust in its institutions and the safety of the money it deposits in its banks," she said.

The Commonwealth Bank said in a statement they fired Karkanakis as soon as they uncovered evidence of his illegal activities.

"Commonwealth Bank has no tolerance for any illegal activity and we have been co-operating with Victorian Police on this matter," a spokesman for the bank said.

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