BOP woman gets home detention for $150k fraud
A woman who received $150,000 in secret commissions while employed at a tertiary college has been sentenced to nine months home detention.
Former Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi employee Katherine Tuhakaraina, 60, was sentenced in Tauranga District Court on one representative charge of ‘Receiving secret reward for procuring contracts’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
The defendant received the kickbacks from Koa Consultants who delivered an education course to the wānanga, says the Serious Fraud Office, which brought charges against the woman.
Tuhakaraina had recommended her employer award the company the contract.
The defendant made the recommendation knowing she would get a share of Koa Consultants’ profits if it got the work.
Her employer was unaware of this agreement or that the defendant had any personal interest in the awarding of work to Koa Consultants.
“Corruption is a priority for the SFO. It disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society, and in this case undermined the good work of the wānanga and its dedicated employees," says director of the SFO, Julie Read.
"Ms Tuhakaraina deceived her employer to obtain funds provided to the education sector from the Crown. Her offending was criminal, corrupt and a gross breach of trust.”