High flying SkyCity executive Tessa Grant and her $2.7m fraud

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She was a high-flying executive so well-regarded in her job at SkyCity, she would at times fill in as general manager.

Little did Tess Grant’s employer know, she spent the majority of her time stealing from them. It wasn’t until she got a new job and was arrested on suspicion of siphoning funds there, that they started to ask questions.

She will be sentenced tomorrow morning in the Hamilton District Court for stealing a total $2.77 million.

The Herald reveals Grant’s relatively sophisticated fraud which spanned eight years and saw her buying a $900,000 property, a $68,000 horse and $55,000 in custom-designed jewellery

High-rolling at SkyCity

Grant began working at the casino giant’s Hamilton branch in November 2006 as its finance manager. The salary was healthy – $125,000 a year.

She filled in at times as general manager when her salary would be bumped up to $189,000.

But two years later, the temptation appeared to get the better of her and she began stealing from her employer.

Although she had a few different methods of getting her hands on money, her main one appeared to be by forging cheques, according to a summary of facts released to the Heraldthis week.

Two signatures were required but, given her position, she was able to persuade others to pre-sign them or convince them it was for a legitimate Skycity expense.

She would then fill it out for a personal expense and either post it or deliver it to the business to bank themselves.

This meant she was able to hide the fact the monies were coming from SkyCity and seeing Grant as the depositor, it wouldn’t raise concerns among those she was paying.

Between December 23, 2009 and February 8, 2010, Grant began stealing money to help construct a horse arena at the property she was living in on Trentham Rd, Matangi.

And over a three-month period from February 2, 2011, Grant used money to pay for landscaping at the same property.

As well as cheques, she also took advantage of the company’s petty cash system which is nicknamed the “cage”.

However, her thefts were anything but petty.

As she had authority to make payments of invoices and other expenses, she altered genuine invoices to allow a duplicate payment to go through.

Between March 4, 2013 and April 26, 2013, Grant made three cash withdrawals totalling $184,250.00. They included two $60,000 withdrawals on the same day.

To get the money, she duplicated or faked invoices from Hawkins Construction which were contracted by the casino to do building work.

She put the money towards the purchase of two properties which would eventually see her build an equestrian centre and import a $60,000 horse from overseas.

She also gave tens of thousands to her then-fiance Jason Bugg, paid off her credit card at Farmlands Trading Society and spent a large amount on equestrian expenses.

In total, an investigation uncovered she stole $1.98 million from SkyCity, a reduced figure from the initial suspected amount of $2.5m.

Moving on

In 2014 there was a restructure at the company and instead of taking up a promotion as assistant general manager, Grant decided to quit.

In July, she took up a job as commercial manager at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in Hamilton which meant she was second only to the principal and given the same salary of $125,000.

By December she was back to her old ways.

After a school meeting on December 1, Grant altered the minutes about the school choir to read that a staff member needed to be reimbursed $5000 for work on a school project, the court document shows.

She banked the cash.

She also made up a series of false invoices be paid to structural engineering firm Caledonian Design Ltd over a four month period between December 2014 and March 2015 totalling more than $7,000.

However, her biggest theft was also clocked up during that time against two major building projects at the school being carried out by Hawkins Construction.

Although the cost of the project was estimated at $600,000 the cost eventually ballooned out to $1.148 million due to her offending.

Interestingly, all of the invoices had to be approved by the school’s board which included an accountant and a lawyer.

On March 31, she nabbed another $7500 after falsifying a school cheque pretending that it was for asbestos removal. The cheque was instead made out to one of Grant’s friends, for Grant’s benefit.

In April, she faked a cheque to pay for her insurance policy with FMG worth $6,876.63 and clocked up a trip to Christchurch a few days later with her partner worth $1492.

She put the flights down in the names of former school principal Vicky McLennan and her partner. However, McLennan queried the details when they appeared on a credit-card statement.

On July 31, 2015, Grant bought a $900,000 property at Whatawhata, west of Hamilton, to set up as an equestrian centre, complete with an indoor arena.

Splashing out

As well as the $900,000 property, other purchases included;

• $155,000 of stolen money was put towards the purchase of a $285,000 horse coach, and the $182,500 truck chassis it was to sit on
• $68,579.20 for an eventing horse from the UK
• $31,851.22 to transport the horse to New Zealand
• $16,071.75 on a horse float
• $14,735.00 agricultural machinery
• $18,371.16 on horse gear
• $55,850.00 on jewellery including $40,000 platinum diamond ring


In September 2015, an employment investigation began about the irregularities. Grant subsequently resigned.

She was arrested and first appeared in the Hamilton District Court in late 2015.

By December of that year she’d paid back the school what she stole plus an extra $100,000 in interest and legal fees and admitted seven fraud charges, also losing name suppression.

During this time, alarm bells were ringing at SkyCity.

Grant pleaded guilty to the school theft in January and within a few weeks, irregularities came to light from her time at SkyCity, initially to the tune of $1.26m.

The company was successful in applying to the high court to freeze the assets of Grant, her father, John Grant, and his business Boston Six Ltd, Elizabeth Anne Brown, the co-owner of a racehorse with Grant, and J T Equine NZ Ltd, a company owned by Grant.

Discovery orders were also imposed on Grant’s partner Jason Scott, who she shared her Whatawhata home with, along with his mother Pauline Scott.

She was charged over the SkyCity offending and in April last year pleaded not guilty to the charges. She disputed the amount stolen.

By August last year, it was alleged Grant’s offending at SkyCity was worse than first thought and up to $2.5m.

She eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser amount of $1.9m in July.

Finally, tomorrow – nearly two years after she was arrested on the first set of charges – she will be sentenced for the offending against the school and the casino.


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Winston Peters to Labour: Front up on your tax plans

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Winston Peters has set out a firm new condition of going into government with Labour – it must tell him what its tax plans are.

New Zealand First could not support any Labour government without knowing its true intentions, he told the Herald.

Peters said he believed Labour already knew what it wanted from a proposed tax working group but was instead saying it had not decided.

“I’ve got more experience than nearly all of them put together, with respect, lining up for these [post-election] discussions.

“And I’d expect to know, yes. As the people who trust Winston Peters would expect him to know.”

In the same way, Peters said he wanted more clarity from Labour about how its proposed water royalty would be set, and assurances from National that Maori would not be given rights over fresh water.

Peters compared Ardern’s rise to that of French President Emmanuel Macron, but claimed an uncritical media had played a crucial part.

“You are not asking the questions. You can’t possibly mean to go into an election saying, ‘My tax policy will be decided by a committee, and I am very sincere about that’. One needs to know what we are talking about … that should be fatal to a party’s chances. And we need to know.”

Ardern has said there will be no decisions until after a yet-to-be-established expert group made recommendations on tax reform during Labour’s first term.

That is a change from the position held by previous leader Andrew Little, who said if a capital gains tax was recommended by the working group, he would implement one only after taking that to the electorate at the next election.

Ardern says that is too long to wait, given the pressing need to tackle the housing crisis that is locking New Zealanders out of owning a home.

She has made clear a capital gains tax or land tax would not be applied to the family home.

Peters said those exclusions suggested Labour has a more complete plan for taxation.

Winston Peters is dismissive of a voting

Winston Peters is dismissive of a voting “youth quake”. Photo / Nick Reed

“They know what it is. But they are not saying so. Because that’s the only way you could intelligently rule out parts of the tax policy you have got a group setup to look at.

“Because you know what you don’t want now.”

Green Party leader James Shaw launched climate change policy in Auckland yesterday and told supporters it was now not a question of whether Labour would win, but who it would invite into government.

“If you don’t want Winston Peters holding Labour over a barrel, I am asking you to give your party vote to the Greens.”

Speaking at the Stuff leaders debate on Thursday, Ardern said the Greens would still be her first phone call should she be in a position to form a Government. Yesterday she was asked if she would expect to negotiate with NZ First as a Labour Greens block or just as Labour.

“I haven’t set any expectations around that,” she said.

Ardern said a Labour Government would set up the tax working group early on.

“[But] I expect they will want a good amount of time … I’d want to give them at least a year.”

Asked if former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen would be on the group, Labour finance spokesman Grant Robertson said: “He is certainly a man who knows a lot about those issues.”

Peters said Ardern’s rise and its “inexplicable” media attention had made it a difficult campaign.

Asked if he had seen anything like Ardern’s impact on the campaign in his political career, Peters pointed to recent elections overseas.

“I’ve seen it before. I saw it in the United States, I saw it in the UK, and I saw it, in particular, in France in [now French President] Macron’s campaign.”

He said he expected the campaign to return to where it was in July before Ardern took over, with National and Labour’s support levelling off. Smaller parties including the Maori Party and the Greens were in deep trouble – “you have a flush-out coming”.

Peters talked of a “next generation” SuperGold card at a rally on the North Shore on Saturday attended by about 1000 supporters.

Ardern attracted about as many students recently at Waikato University, but Peters said his supporters were reliable. “The people who are writing about a youth quake may well be blowing in the wind. Because a youth quake only happens if people … turn up. And they won’t.”


Source  :  New Zealand Herald

Chiclayo: Dictan 36 meses de prisión preventiva a presuntos miembros de “Los injertos de zanja honda”

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Los presuntos delincuentes se habrían dedicado a la usurpación de terrenos en varias zonas de la provincia de Jaén (Cajamarca).

Detenidos en Cajamarca. (USI)

Nueve presuntos integrantes de la organización criminal “Los Injertos de Zanja Honda” deberán pasar 36 meses de prisión preventiva, de acuerdo a lo ordenado por el Segundo Juzgado de Investigación Preparatoria de Jaén de la Corte de Lambayeque.

Se trata de los detenidos Esther Marichín Lancha ‘Charapa’, Norma Fernández Ajip ‘La Gata’, Rosalía Corrales Lozada ‘Cara de Burra’, Yesmín Jibaja Castillo ‘Blanca’ y Henry Ventura Cárdenas ‘Negro’.

También contra Faustino Corrales Lozada ‘Tino’, Sandra Díaz Millán ‘Loca’ y Orlando Ocaña Núñez ‘Pelado’. El último es José Manuel Jara Malaver, quien está prófugo de la justicia, según las autoridades.

El magistrado Orlando Pari Gonzales, a cargo del referido juzgado, refirió que existen graves elementos que vinculan a las citadas personas en el delito contra la tranquilidad pública en la modalidad de asociación ilícita para delinquir, usurpación agravada, extorsión y más.

Los presuntos integrantes de “Los Injertos de Zanja Honda”, se habrían dedicado a la usurpación de terrenos en varias zonas de la provincia de Jaén (Cajamarca) desde el año 2012, de manera concertada y coordinada.



Keiko Fujimori espera que a su padre le den de alta este domingo

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La lideresa de Fuerza Popular enfatizó que Alberto Fujimori aún no está estable, sin embargo, asegura que la evolución del ex presidente podría ser pronta.

Alberto Fujimori denunció que no contaba con agua y luz dentro de su celda a través de Twitter. (Perú21)

Aguarda por las buenas nuevas. Keiko Fujimori espera que le den de alta a su padre en el transcurso de este domingo luego que por la mañana del sábado, Alberto Fujimori fuese internado en un clínica local por una descompensación.

Como se recuerda, el ex presidente fue nuevamente internado en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivo (UCI) por una arritmia cardíaca. Su pronóstico aún es de carácter reservado.

“Todavía no está estable, están en el proceso de estabilizarlo pero los médicos comentan que todo marcha bien y mañana le podrían dar de alta. No está tan grave como la semana pasada”, declaró Keiko Fujimori a la prensa.

La hija del ex mandatario añadió que fue “gracias a Dios” que los doctores lo puedan estar estabilizando y que fue “importante que (mi padre) haya llegado a tiempo”. Aclaró que Alberto Fujimori “está de buen ánimo y eso también es importante tomar en consideración”.

En los exteriores del centro médico, llegó un grupo de simpatizantes del fujimorismo que con pancartas y cartulinas en mano, realizaron una vigilia a la espera de la recuperación del ex jefe de estado.