Brazen Theft Reveals Why Banks Need Tougher Security

A judge has called a mother of two ‘greedy in court, after she stole over $300,000 from her ANZ firm dating from 2014–2016.

Since 1997, Tracey Lee Cook has been a highly paid manager at ANZ. However, now she has had her employment terminated after her fraudulent activity was discovered.

Cook worked as a senior manager of transaction processing and was in charge of a team of 162 people.

According to, the 44-year-old was already on a $200,000 a year contract, with her household annual income being over $500,000.

Yet despite being in the top few percent of Australian earners, Miss Cook wanted more and used her inexperienced junior staff members to unknowingly steal $311,529.62 via 14 separate transactions.

According to the court details reported by, Ms Cook used some of her junior staff members to process these cheques in her favour.

She then used this money to fund her lavish lifestyle. This included her using the money to pay for her tax, an investment property, and a jet ski.

Her work involved processing and holding ‘dishonoured cheques,’ which are cheques that cannot be recovered and have a value that’s written off.

The money was often transferred in and out of various accounts, which then delayed any investigation by ANZ.

Cook also provided false information about why these accounts were being debited. She blamed the loss of money on a change in the delivery company that ANZ uses. 

However, her plans were unravelled when one of the juniors raised the alarm.

As a result, Cook immediately confessed her crimes and repaid the amount that she stole in full. A judge last week said:

 ‘This is greed. It’s absolute greed.

I think the offending itself is up there. It was to meet a lavish lifestyle of a family that was already in the top few percent of earnings in the country.

Cook’s final sentence will be handed to her on Friday by the Victorian County Court after she was refused bail.

However, this crime now raises the question about whether our money is actually safe in the hands of these big banks.

With Cook’s crime being thrown into the spotlight, the banks are now under some unwelcomed pressure with the allegations of corruption and deception.

As a result, the banks will have to tighten up their security measures against these crimes in order to regain our trust.

Peter Tseros

Peter Tseros

Peter Tseros is a writer here at The Australian Tribune, where he focuses on key issues in Australian politics. He has a Bachelor of Journalism, as well as his masters in Media and Communications both at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.

In addition, Peter spent two years working as a journalist for publications in India and the US, before he moved to radio where he spent three years at some of Australia’s leading networks, which include 3AW and 1116 SEN.

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