Maltese Woman Admits She Scammed Lotto Booth Boss to Go Gambling

Posted on: January 5, 2022, 09:19h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2022, 09:34h.

A Maltese woman appeared before a judge this week, accused of pilfering from her employer. She allegedly embezzled almost €7,000 (US$7,930) to feed her gambling habit.

Malta Courtroom
A view of a typical courtroom in Malta. This is where Joanne Borg sat on Monday, responding to charges she embezzled money from a former employer. (Image: Times of Malta)

Joanne Borg allegedly couldn’t help herself. The 33-year-old was working at a lotto booth. She allegedly had a gambling problem and began using her employer’s revenue as her own wallet.

Some of the details are a little sketchy – such as when she began her deceit and how long it lasted. However, Malta Today indicates that she was finally caught and charged with fraud, misappropriation, and filing a false police report.

The accused sat before the judge yesterday and admitted to her crimes. The prosecutor in the case, Lydon Zammit, highlighted the accused gambling problem, using the amount stolen as proof. When asked directly if she was guilty, Borg reportedly broke down in tears and said yes.

Getting the New Year Off on the Right Foot

Borg could have been sentenced to up to nine years in jail. However, the court showed leniency. The judge gave her probation for three years and ordered her to participate in a three-year gambling treatment program.

She will also have to make full restitution for the amount owed her former employer. Some of the money has reportedly been paid already, but €6820 (US$7,728) still has to be reimbursed.

The judge’s decision comes with a caveat. If she doesn’t follow through with the orders, the judge threatened to change course and issue a jail sentence.

In avoiding jail time, Borg is able to seek help for her gambling addiction and make restitution for the money stolen. Being on probation leaves the constant threat of prison hanging over her until she completes all of the judge’s requirements.

Malta Overwhelmed by Gaming Industry

Malta has been the center of the gaming industry, especially the iGaming segment, in recent years. This was by design, as the Mediterranean island nation sought to create a niche for itself. It found it through gaming, which has become a major source of its daily activity.

However, all of the attention has also brought problems. From reports of mafias running amok to Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) employees stealing classified data, there seems to always be something putting the country in the spotlight.

Things have become so bad that Malta was greylisted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June of last year. It became the first government in the European Union to be given the greylist tag. That means it will be under increased monitoring for a perceived higher risk of money laundering and terrorism financing.