Sydney Commonwealth Bank Clerk Hsin-Yu Tsai jailed for 14 months after stealing $3.5m from customers


Commonwealth Bank teller who stole $3.5MILLION from customers’ accounts to buy luxury watches, designer handbags, a Ferrari and even a house is jailed

  • Hsin-Yu ‘Angie’ Tsai, 33, jailed for 14 months after stealing $3.5m from customers
  • Ms Tsai stole funds while working at Commonwealth Bank between 2014 & 2015 
  • Abusive boyfriend allegedly pushed Ms Tsai into funding their lavish lifestyle 
  • Ms Tsai stole $2.4m from one customer despite having access to $3m trust fund 










A former Commonwealth Bank clerk who stole $3.5 million from customers’ accounts partly due to pressure from her abusive boyfriend was unable to avoid jail due to the ‘extraordinary’ amount taken.

Hsin-Yu ‘Angie’ Tsai, 33, was jailed for at least 14 months after admitting to withdrawing $2.4 million from one customer, and $500,000 from a dead woman’s account, among other frauds between 2014 and 2015.

Judge John Pickering found Tsai funded her lavish lifestyle of luxury watches, expensive handbags and a house through the proceeds of crime due to poor judgment and greed.

Hsin-Yu 'Angie' Tsai, 33, was jailed for at least 14 months after stealing $3.5m from customer between 2014 and 2015 (pictured, Ms Tsai arrives to Downing St District Court on Friday)

Hsin-Yu ‘Angie’ Tsai, 33, was jailed for at least 14 months after stealing $3.5m from customer between 2014 and 2015 (pictured, Ms Tsai arrives to Downing St District Court on Friday)

‘One immediately wonders why someone with a job and knowing the risk why she would think of stealing such an extraordinary amount of money from the bank,’ he said.

But in sentencing Tsai in the District Court on Friday to a maximum term of three years and three months, he noted the extreme greed in her partner’s requests including $30,000 in shoes and clothes, and a Ferrari.

‘Buying a Ferrari is perhaps the greediest thing someone can do from stealing money that there is in this world,’ he said.

The judge felt genuine sympathy for her suffering at the hands of her emotionally, financially and physically abusive partner, saying he took advantage and exploited her position for his own financial gain.

But the judge could not ignore the fact that ‘$3.5 million is a lot of money’.

‘You can clearly see overall globally this was a significant offence.’

Ms Tsai (pictured) stole $2.4m from a customer and $500,000 from an account of a deceased woman

Ms Tsai (pictured) stole $2.4m from a customer and $500,000 from an account of a deceased woman

Tsai pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception, and one for using a false document.

An investigation was launched after a CBA customer who had accrued $2.4 million in money he had been depositing from South Africa was told he only had about $13,000 left in his account.

This led to the revelation she had previously withdrawn half a million dollars from a woman’s term deposit two days after she died in 2014.

An investigation was launched after a Commonwealth Bank customer who had accrued $2.4 million in money he had been depositing from South Africa

An investigation was launched after a Commonwealth Bank customer who had accrued $2.4 million in money he had been depositing from South Africa 

Tsai used a degree of sophistication in transferring the money around multiple times to hide its path and location, the court was told.

While working as a customer service specialist with the major bank Tsai said her partner became overwhelmingly obsessed with materialism, expecting lavish gifts like Swiss watches, designer clothes and a car.

Her parents would regularly send her $3000 a month from Taiwan and she also had access to their trust fund of $3 million which she infrequently withdrew from without asking, she said in evidence.

But she was too scared to ask her parents for financial help to leave her partner.

After they did break up she was given a $1 million settlement from their spoils she used to travel Europe, China and purchase an apartment.

The judge noted a ‘remarkable’ aspect of the case was having already stolen millions undetected, after the relationship ended Tsai continued to work at the bank for another three years up until 2019.

‘During that time she did not commit any further frauds or engage in any misconduct whatsoever,’ he said.

This showed she had significantly rehabilitated and matured, and had shown genuine remorse and shame over her offending.

Tsai will first be eligible for parole in December 2022.



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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