Christchurch HR manager jailed over $400K theft

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A Christchurch HR manager who stole more than $400,000 from her former employer was jailed for three years yesterday after a judge said she’d been motivated by greed, rather than need.

“Your motivation appears to have been lifestyle choices, Judge Alistair Garland told 44-year-old before denying her appeal for name suppression.

Mother-of-two Charmain Herron had already pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by a person in a special relationship, having falsified 148 payroll entries over nine years.

The fabrications, made while working for a nationally-recognized law firm, meant $400,969 was fraudulently paid into her own account. Judge Garland maintained name suppression for the firm, agreeing that full disclosure could cause further financial harm.

Herron resigned from the unnamed firm last year after partners indicated she was under investigation for fraud – her eventual cooperation with authorities helped secure a shorter sentence.

"All I wanted to do was save my family," the disgraced HR professional told Fairfax Media. “I'm really sorry that I betrayed everyone.”

Herron has already used the proceeds from the sale of her house to begin reparation payments but falls short by more than $200,000.


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  • GB on 28/01/2016 1:35:22 p.m.

    Christchurch HR Manager is a bit of pump up. The news says "Greedy law firm administrator" and then HR Manager in charge of payroll. She was in a CHCH law firm - hardly medium to large enterprise re HR.

    I'm an HR Manager with responsibility for payroll, recruitment, rostering, ER, L&D etc. etc. - not just payroll!!!!

    A grandstand article heading to attract a reader by maximising a work title that misrepresents the scope of work of many HR specialist is simply aimed to have a shot at the people you trust will read and subscribe to the list service and magazine and perhaps is somewhat disingenuous!

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