Former Hisense Manager Who Gambled $2M in Company Funds Goes to Jail

Posted on: August 23, 2023, 07:48h. 

Last updated on: August 24, 2023, 10:29h.

A former executive working for appliance manufacturer Hisense in its Australian office was a little too creative with company accounts. Aphrodite (also spelled as Afrodite) Myron used her position to embezzle funds to cover an online gambling habit and will now head to prison for the next couple of years.

The entrance to a Hisense appliance store
The entrance to a Hisense appliance store. A former executive with the company stole more than $2 million for her online gambling habit. (Image: Emmarni Techs)

Myron worked as Hisense’s Customer Service and Call Center Manager when she began her scheme in 2014. She was caught in 2021 after another employee tipped off the company.

Initially, Hisense didn’t admit that the company lost more than AU$3.38 million (US$2.17 million) throughout the seven years. However, after media coverage surfaced, Hisense, which sponsors France’s Paris Saint-Germain soccer club, went public about the loss.

This led to Myron’s arrest in 2022 and a subsequent date with a Victoria Court judge. After being found guilty, she returned to a courtroom on Tuesday, where she learned her fate.

Embezzlement Scheme

During testimony, Myron acknowledged that she fell into a routine of taking money to gamble in online slots. She said she planned to repay the stolen money once she won big.  But instead of winning big, she continued to take more funds, tricking Hisense into making deposits into 35 different bank accounts. All of them were either in her name or family members’ names.

Myron signed off on customers’ reimbursement claims and deposited the money into the accounts.  She then told those customers that their requests for compensation had been denied.

She also backdated many claims, convincing a new high-level executive at the company that the laws allowed consumers to file claims retroactively, even after the statute of limitations had expired.

Several other people lost their jobs at the company after Myron’s arrest.

When she finally appeared in court, she was sentenced on eight counts of “obtaining financial advantage by deception” amid a story of life-long emotional and physical suffering.

Lighter Sentence

In pleading for leniency, Myron’s defense team tried to argue that Hisense could absorb the losses and wouldn’t suffer as much as, for example, a small business. Hisense had a gross revenue of $10.16 billion last year, up from $9.26 billion in 2021.

The judge, Nola Karapanagiotidis, agreed that the company had deeper pockets. But this didn’t mean that it was any less affected by the theft. She struck down the argument while recognizing that Myron was otherwise decent.

Because Myron accepted responsibility for her actions and made a deal, she received a lighter sentence than others might have gotten in a similar situation. Karapanagiotidis sentenced her to four years and a month in prison, with the option of being released after 26 months.