New Zealand Law Society - Fraudulent school administrator sentenced

Fraudulent school administrator sentenced

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The Serious Fraud Office says former school administrator Kim Symes, 51, has been sentenced to 10 months of home detention and 150 hours of community work for defrauding a Māori immersion school of approximately $250,000.

It says Ms Symes was sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 26 November on six fraud charges which it brought.

Ms Symes pleaded guilty in September to charges of ‘Obtaining by deception’ (section 240(1) Crimes Act 1961), ‘Using forged documents’ (section 257(1) Crimes Act)  and four charges of ‘Dishonestly using a document’ (section 228(1)(b) Crimes Act). The charges relate to 293 individual transactions and 27 forged documents.

The SFO says Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o te Tonga o Hokianga employed Ms Symes as a support staff administrator for 11 years from April 2006 to July 2017.

"In this role, the defendant was responsible for the core financial duties for the school. She was responsible for ensuring the school’s expenditure was supported by purchase order forms, receipts or other documentation, and that it was accurately coded in the financial accounts."