Woman stole $140,000 from job

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

A Taupō woman has been found guilty of 225 charges re­lat­ing to steal­ing more than $140,000 from a Taupō busi­ness over three years.

Stephanie Ann Elmiger has been warned she could go to jail.

Elmiger pleaded not guilty to 249 charges of theft by a per­son in a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship. She was found guilty of 225 charges fol­low­ing a judge-alone hear­ing be­tween Au­gust 6 and 24 be­fore Judge Tony Snell. The other charges were dis­missed.

Judge Snell for­mally re­leased his de­ci­sion in the Ro­torua Dis­trict Court on Tues­day.

Elmiger was em­ployed by Cen­tral Mo­tor Group, a Ford and Mazda deal­er­ship owned by Richard Blak­eney-Wil­liams Snr, in 2013 as a se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tor/ ac­counts clerk and moved up the ranks to gen­eral man­ager.

She was also em­ployed to help with the fi­nan­cial ac­count­ing and over­sight of Blak­eney-Wil­liams Snr’s daugh­ter’s beauty/spa busi­ness, Di­a­mond Laser Spa. The charges she faced re­lated to mon­e­tary trans­fers from ac­counts she had con­trol of, credit card trans­ac­tions, pay­roll pay­ment charges and a mo­tor ve­hi­cle- re­lated charge.

The Crown al­leged she paid her­self a se­ries of pay­ments and bonuses that were not au­tho­rised or she was en­ti­tled to, used a com­pany credit card is­sued to her and a com­pany credit card is­sued to an­other em­ployee to make per­sonal pur­chases that were not au­tho­rised or part of the gen­eral busi­ness or au­tho­rised busi­ness of the com­pany, made unau­tho­rised pay­roll pay­ments to her­self and gave a Ford Courier ve­hi­cle to a third party with­out ac­count­ing for it to the com­pany.

It was Elmiger’s de­fence that all the mon­e­tary trans­fers and bonuses were au­tho­rised by the com­pany and all credit card al­le­ga­tions were either not done by Elmiger or were for com­pany busi­ness.

The judge’s lengthy de­ci­sion out­lines the ex­penses Elmiger used com­pany funds for. These in­clude TAB pur­chases, per­sonal shop­ping, gro­ceries, her per­sonal Sky bills, her per­sonal rates, a de­posit for a car for her daugh­ter, beauty prod­ucts for Elmiger’s daugh­ter’s busi­ness and flights for her daugh­ter and her daugh­ter’s boyfriend. The de­ci­sion also out­lines sev­eral un­ex­plained bonuses Elmiger paid to her­self.

In his de­ci­sion, Judge Snell said he found Elmiger started of­fend­ing shortly af­ter start­ing her job.

He said the of­fend­ing was able to be hid­den be­cause of the in­creas­ingly se­nior em­ploy­ment po­si­tions that she oc­cu­pied, the level of trust she was af­forded and dif­fer­ent meth­ods of con­ceal­ment.

Elmiger was re­manded on bail un­til Fe­bru­ary 1, with con­di­tions in­clud­ing that she not en­gage in any so­cial me­dia com­men­tary re­lat­ing to the case.

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