FORMER Tweed City CBA branch manager Graham Higgins, currently appearing in Lismore District Court on fraud charges.
FORMER Tweed City CBA branch manager Graham Higgins, currently appearing in Lismore District Court on fraud charges.

Bank boss in court



THE FILING basket overflowed, staff turnover was high and errors were regularly made at the bank branch managed by alleged fraudster Graham Higgins, the Lismore District Court heard yesterday.

Higgins is accused of defrauding an elderly woman of nearly $80,000.

Yesterday the court heard of a "massive amount of paperwork" staff had to process at Tweed City Commonwealth Bank in 2001.

The pressure on staff was "enormous" testified Higgins' former assistant manager, Cheryl Small, as Tweed City was amalgamated with two other bank branches.

Documents were often filed by junior or probationary staff, the court heard.

The court has previously heard a recorded interview between Higgins and Commonwealth Bank fraud investigators in which Higgins claimed that in October 2001 he had received a handwritten note from bed-ridden Terranora Village Nursing Home resident, Doreen Loder, now deceased.

Higgins claims the note, delivered by a mystery woman, instructed him to distribute Mrs Loder's cheque for $78,303 into eight bank cheques for $8,600 and over $9000 in cash. The alleged note, Mrs Loder's customer files and all of Higgins' manager's diaries dating back to 1998 have gone missing the court has heard.

Yesterday the court heard from witnesses whose names matched those on some of $8600 cheques Mrs Loder is alleged to have authorised. The witnesses, Anthony Bennett, Robert Bruce Hickey, Marlene Smidt and Bertha Stead all denied having received a cheque for $8600 from Mrs Loder.



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