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Police investigate AUT's missing $500k

#1 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:58 PM

Police investigate AUT's missing $500k

By Jared Savage
5:30 AM Wednesday Jul 27, 2011

Auckland University of Technology signs. Photo / Richard Robinson
Auckland University of Technology signs. Photo / Richard Robinson

Do you know more details? Email [email protected]

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have gone missing from the accounts of a taxpayer-funded Auckland university.

AUT is making an urgent audit into the suspected theft but would not reveal any details, including whether a staff member was responsible, how long the alleged offending remained undetected or how it was discovered.

"There is a matter under investigation into possible accounting discrepancies. As this is under investigation we cannot comment further," said an AUT spokeswoman.

It's understood more than $500,000 is missing.

The head of the Auckland fraud squad, Detective Senior Sergeant Hywel Jones, said a complaint had been laid on Monday, but would not comment further.

Unravelling employee theft and fraud is 70 per cent of the workload for private investigator Danny Toresen.

Hukildaspida says: Except there would be a possible conflict of interest if Danny Toreson was asked to investigate Fraud & Investigations dept as they are contracted to

While not commenting specifically on the AUT case, Mr Toresen said most employee thefts or frauds were picked up by tip-offs from colleagues, rather than through audits or controls.

"The more senior the manager, the larger the scale of the fraud," he said.

Hukildaspida says: We couldn't agree more.

"The most common ways to commit fraud is to reactivate old creditors and account numbers, then siphon the money off.

"Fraud can be easy to unravel once detected ... But these long-running frauds can be millions of dollars if they know how to avoid being picked up."

Yes had a staff member, Property Manager, named Malcom Mason for around 32 years before he was picked up.

What we would like to know is, why didn't Barry Davis pick up on that and that of Jeff Chapman's case earlier, after all Barry Davis was an Accountant prior to commencing employ with ACC so should have been alert to such behaviour, or is there something that hasn't been disclosed yet by Barry Davis???

Skeletons, skeletons, skeletons, there are still more to be unravelled within if you know something report it to the Authorities.
If you are not listened to or taken seriously try another person who will listen & investigate it, it is Public Funds.

The largest employee theft committed in New Zealand was by former ASB investment banker Stephen Versalko, who stole $17.8 million over nine years.

He was sentenced in March last year to six years in prison.
By Jared Savage | Email Jared

#2 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:29 PM


Fraudster's wife wins ASB payout

By David Fisher
5:30 AM Wednesday May 16, 2012

Stephen Versalko. Photo / Dean Purcell

The wife of convicted fraudster Stephen Versalko - who stole almost $18 million from ASB - has won a big payout from the bank her husband ripped off.

Megan Versalko
received the six-figure payout after arguing she was entitled to the proceeds of the marriage up to the point at which her husband began stealing. She has now started a new life with a new partner.

Versalko was sent to prison in 2010 for six years after admitting stealing $17.8 million from wealthy clients while working as an investment adviser at the ASB's Remuera branch. It is still the biggest case of employee theft in New Zealand.

After Versalko's conviction, the ASB pursued a claim against him for as much money as it could recover. He was bankrupted in October 2011.

At the time of his arrest, Megan Versalko was a qualified primary teacher who didn't need to work. The couple had married in 1984 and gone on to have three children, now adults.

It emerged Versalko had spent the stolen money on prostitutes, fine wine and real estate he couldn't afford, including their Remuera home and Coromandel Peninsula holiday house.

Documents were filed with Land Information New Zealand shortly after Versalko's arrest to alert the ASB to Mrs Versalko's claim.

Mrs Versalko refused to talk about the deal, which led to her buying her own home on Auckland's North Shore. It's understood she agreed to a confidentiality clause as part of her settlement with the bank.

The Herald was told she met a tradesman in connection with the new home and they had struck up a friendship. She was no longer in a marital relationship with Versalko.

Mrs Versalko had also focused on her professional career, developing teaching qualifications she had held at the time of Versalko's arrest.

Otago University law professor Nicola Peart
said Versalko wouldn't have been allowed to profit from the proceeds of crime. But Mrs Versalko would have been entitled to her share of any funds not considered "tainted".

"From the moment he started to steal, she wouldn't have been able to claim any property that was in any way connected to his criminal behaviour." But Mrs Versalko would be entitled to her share of the marriage up to point at which the criminal offending began.

Versalko was last known to be serving his time at the minimum security prison at Rangipo near Turangi.

An inmate who had served time with him told the Weekend Herald in 2010 of Versalko's desire to cut a deal with the ASB which would allow a payout to his family.

He had talked in prison about doing a deal which would bind him to secrecy in return for his family being supported.

It was understood the arrangement with Mrs Versalko was separate from his prison discussions.

The bank had previously cut a deal with one of the escorts paid $2.55 million by Versalko. Its settlement with the escort also included a confidentiality clause.

A spokeswoman for the ASB said the bank would make no comment on the case.
By David Fisher | Email David

#3 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:45 PM

Update to post #1

AUT fraudster released from jail

Last updated 16:32 03/12/2012

University fraudster Jonathan Kirkpatrick has been released on parole after serving a third of his three-year sentence.

The former Auckland University of Technology's business innovation centre chief executive was jailed in October last year after he stole more than $600,000 and indulged in a lavish lifestyle.

He was released on October 29 after his first appearance before the Parole Board.

The board found Kirkpatrick to be at low risk of reoffending and, provided he is monitored, a low risk to the community.

Kirkpatrick did not need to do any rehabilitative programmes in prison.

The board set conditions that he not to undertake any employment, voluntary work, training or study without permission until December 2014.

Kirkpatrick was authorised in his former role to issue invoices of up to $15,000 without supervision.

However, he used that role to set up false companies and keep the money.

Kirkpatrick's offending was detected by the university when he was on holiday in Thailand.

He left a bank statement for one of the fraudulent companies on his desk.

The fraud cost over $1 million, with the university required to pay $208,000, and their insurance company the balance of $791,000.

Kirkpatrick was ordered by the court last year to pay the university $20,000 in reparations, which he received from the sale of his house.

An AUT spokeswoman said the university had been fully refunded against the losses resulting from Kirkpatrick's actions.

''Following our discovery, we again reviewed our financial processes and they are consistent with best practice,'' she said.

''AUT's financial systems are regularly audited under the direction of the office of the Auditor General and as part of standard business practice.''

- © Fairfax NZ News

#4 User is offline   hukildaspida 

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:27 AM

always warning his team to look out for fraud... "a senior and trusted manager".....

This sounds all to familiar


Jail for stealing $240,000 from university
11:53 AM Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

Graeme Jeffrey Pettitt. Photo / Otago Daily Times

An accounts manager who stole nearly $240,000 from the University of Otago was always warning his team to look out for fraud, a court has been told.

Graeme Jeffrey Pettitt, 61 was sentenced in Dunedin District Court yesterday to two years and seven months in prison for accessing the university's electronic accounting system and taking nearly $240,000 over a seven-year period.

"The impact of your actions was significant for those who worked with you," Judge Michael Crosbie told Pettitt, who was described as "a senior and trusted manager".

"I'm told you sat at many meetings where it was discussed how the university could reduce fraud against it."

The summary of facts said university financial services division staff noticed in June several unusual electronic payments to a creditor called Hadaad Syndicate. There was no supporting documentation and all payments had been made by Pettitt.

It was found he had set up a bank account in the name of Hadaad Syndicate and had made 72 fraudulent payments into it, totalling $238,846.61.

Defence lawyer Anne Stevens said Pettitt's gambling and drinking addictions were more in the nature of an illness and could not be described as greed. Pettitt had publicly acknowledged his offending and his background issues of gambling and drinking.

The shame was "absolutely enormous". He had lost his home, his position and his reputation.

Pettitt had been co-operative with the auditors.

He had handed over his entire superannuation of $54,297 to try to put matters right and the bank would be taking the full proceeds from the sale of his house, Mrs Stevens said.

Judge Crosbie said while some funds had been recovered from Pettitt, it was likely the remaining $188,000 would not be recovered, with proceeds from the sale of his Mosgiel unit to be returned to the bank.

Pettitt had been receiving counselling for alcohol and gambling addiction, which began 12 years ago following a relationship break-up.

Family members declined to comment outside the court yesterday.

Also declining to comment was the University of Otago.

- Otago Daily Times

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