New Zealand Law Society - Guilty plea to 99 additional SFO fraud charges

Guilty plea to 99 additional SFO fraud charges

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The Seriouis Fraud Office says the former finance manager of a Hamilton-based social services provider has pleaded guilty to an additional 99 fraud charges it brought in the Hamilton District Court.

Hemo Kerewai Thompson (58) entered the guilty plea to bring the total number of Crimes Act offences that she has admitted in the prosecution to 167. 

The SFO says she is a former employee of the tax-payer funded Raukura Waikato Social Services Trust (RWSS) and in an earlier Court appearance in March she pleaded guilty to 67 charges of ‘Theft in a Special Relationship’ and one charge of ‘Obtaining by Deception’. The plea today was to charges of ‘Theft in a Special Relationship’.

"Ms Thompson obtained about $175,000 from RWSS over a four year period from November 2010 to February 2015 and disguised the activity as genuine expenditure. RWSS is currently in liquidation," it says.

“Hemo Thompson had control over the Raukura funds and knew the terms upon which she was allowed to deal with those funds. She intentionally departed from those terms to conduct this activity for her own personal benefit at the cost of those who were intended to benefit from the trust’s work,” says SFO director Julie Read.

Ms Thompson has been granted bail and is scheduled for sentencing at the Hamilton District Court on 19 July 2018.