Former Ministry of Transport senior manager jailed for fraud

A former senior manager at the Ministry of Transport has been sentenced to three years and seven months jailtime.

A former senior manager at the Ministry of Transport has been sentenced to three years and seven months imprisonment in relation to a fraud committed during her employment at the ministry, the Serious Fraud Office said.

Joanne Harrison, a former general manager of organisational development, pleaded guilty in November to charges of ‘dishonestly taking or using a document,’ laid by the SFO. The white-collar crime investigator was called in after an internal investigation into suspicious payments. According to the SFO, Harrison and entities associated with her obtained approximately $726,000.

“The SFO gives a priority to cases concerning the loss of public money as this affects not only the government entity concerned but all New Zealanders," SFO director Julie Read said.

The case first came to light in mid-2016. At the time the ministry's chief executive Peter Mersi described it as betrayal: "This was a senior staff member in a position of high trust, and my staff feel incredibly let down and betrayed by her actions."

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