New Zealand Law Society - Finance manager Hemo Thompson jailed for fraud

Finance manager Hemo Thompson jailed for fraud

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The former finance manager of a Hamilton-based social services provider has been sentenced to two years and five months’ imprisonment on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

The SFO says Hemo Kerewai Thompson, 58, defrauded Raukura Waikato Social Services Trust (RWSS) of about $175,000 and disguised the activity as genuine expenditure. The offending took place from November 2010 to February 2015. RWSS is currently in liquidation.

Ms Thompson initially pleaded guilty to 67 charges of ‘Theft in a special relationship’ and one charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’ in March. She later pleaded guilty to a further 99 charges of ‘Theft in a special relationship’ in June.

“Ms Thompson’s offending came at a cost to Raukura and the people that the social services provider helped,” says SFO Director, Julie Read.

“Ms Thompson abused her position of authority as the finance manager of a government-funded organisation. She had control over Raukura’s funds and knew the appropriate way to deal with the funds. She intentionally departed from those terms for her own personal benefit while Raukura struggled to make ends meet.”