Former school administrator pleads guilty to fraud

Press Release – Serious Fraud Office

13 September 2019

An Auckland woman has pleaded guilty to defrauding a Māori immersion school of approximately $250,000 on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Kim Symes (51) was convicted of one count of ‘Obtaining by deception’, one count of ‘Using forged documents’ and four counts of ‘Dishonestly using a document’ in the Manukau District Court today. The six charges relate to the defendant’s conduct as an employee of a Northland school.

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.

Ms Symes has been remanded on bail to reappear for sentencing at the Manukau District Court on 26 November 2019.


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