PA sentenced after stealing thousands from employer

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A Christchurch office worker admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from her employer in court this week.

Deborah May Hannah had held her position as a PA at a weight loss surgery for over eight years, and was responsible for the company’s finances as well as processing cash payments from clients.

The tribunal heard that over a period of 13 months, Hannah received 25 cash payments that were not paid into the company’s bank account.

According to the police summary of facts, Hannah either altered or deleted receipts so that the payments – which varied from $70 to $1070 – were not entered into the accounting system.

Hannah kept the payments; a sum of $16,225.

When her actions were discovered, she admitted to the embezzlement, telling police that she “had a lot of bills to pay”.

She left the company in 2013.

Today she pleaded guilty to a representative charge of theft by person in special relationship.

Judge Tony Couch said it was a serious breach of trust.

She pleaded guilty in Christchurch District Court to a representative charge of theft by person in special relationship.

Judge Tony Couch said that her actions had been a breach of her employer’s trust.

He referred the matter for a restorative justice conference between Hannah and her former employers ahead of sentencing in December.

Police are seeking a reparation order for the funds Hannah stole, plus costs to cover the accountant hired to identify her offenses. 

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