Lawyers of Aussie Accountant Who Stole AU$1.5m to Fund Gambling, Cocaine Habit Make Bipolar Claim

  • Crowe, 43, has already pleaded guilty to stealing AU$1.5m ($1.03m) from two ex-employers
  • On Monday, his lawyers said they want to introduce fresh medical reports prior to sentencing
  • As Crowe’s drug debts rose, he developed a gambling addiction to try repay the stolen money
  • The prosecution is set to call its own medical expert in response to a new psychiatric report
Man holding paper sheet with two faced head to convey bipolar disorder
Lawyers representing the Melbourne accountant who defrauded his ex-employers to fund a gambling and drug habit say he may be bipolar. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A mental health claim

Lawyers representing an Australian accountant who pleaded guilty to stealing AU$1.5m (US$1.03m) from two ex-employers to bankroll a gambling and cocaine addiction have told a court in Victoria that their client may be bipolar.

On Monday, the County Court of Victoria heard that a psychiatric report on Adam Crowe, 43, suggests he is suffering from bipolar disorder.

siphoned over $710,000 (US$490,171) from Melbourne River Cruises

The bookkeeper and father of five is on remand after admitting he siphoned over AU$710,000 (US$490,171) from Melbourne River Cruises between 2014-2017, and a little over AU$790,000 (US$545,401) from Melbourne software and hardware solutions provider, onQ Digital, from 2017 to 2020.

In October, Crowe pleaded guilty to the two counts of theft. The court previously heard that the accountant had used the money to fund his gambling and drug addiction, which began after his marriage broke down in 2012.

Spiraling drug, gambling jones

Monday’s new twist saw Crowe’s lawyers express an intent to introduce fresh medical reports prior to his sentencing. According to The West Australian, Judge Duncan Allen questioned the discussed introduction of new evidence, saying “Crowe had no history of depression or mania.”

Adding to that, the court heard that Crowe denied having any mental health conditions, despite using cocaine several times a week. As his cocaine habit worsened, so too did his drug debts, leading Crowe to siphon money from his employers into a fake petty cash account. The disgraced accountant disguised the payments as legitimate transactions for items such as utilities, food, and alcohol.

In October, The Sun reported that in order to repay the money he skimmed, Crowe fell into a spiraling gambling addiction. Crowe’s lawyer said her client was wagering daily via sportsbooks Sportsbet, TAB, and other apps, before hitting Crown Melbourne’s casino after hours four times a week in an attempt to win big.

Earlier this month, Crowe’s former favorite haunt Crown Melbourne learned it could be facing new disciplinary action, after it was accused of having inadequately managed hundreds or even thousands of customers regarding problem gambling.

Prosecution lines up expert

Crowe next appears before the County Court of Victoria on August 12. In response to the defense’s new gambit on Monday, the case’s prosecution has said it will introduce its own medical expert if a psychiatric report on Crowe is submitted.

extreme emotional pressure”

In October, Judge Allen said officials may take into account Crowe’s character prior to his crimes. “The sense of identity as a husband, provider, and father is for many people a cause for extreme emotional pressure,” Judge Allen said.