DHB fraudster who stole $1 million named
A Canterbury woman who was sentenced to three years imprisonment last year for defrauding the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) can now be named.
Antoanette Du Preez (52) of Ashburton stole approximately $1 million while she was employed by the health board. Ms Du Preez is currently serving her prison sentence. She was sentenced on 28 October 2020 in the Christchurch District Court on one representative charge of ‘False accounting’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
The former CDHB employee directed patients to pay for the treatment they had received by transferring funds to bank accounts she controlled. She also received cash on behalf of patients for their treatment, which she retained for herself. She manipulated the CDHB accounting systems to disguise her offending. The defendant supported her lifestyle, including gambling and paying off debt, with the money she stole over a six-year period.
The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “As a DHB employee, Ms Du Preez abused her position of trust to steal more than $1 million. She identified weaknesses in the accounting system which she exploited. Her offending was long-running, premeditated and highly deceptive.”
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550
Note to editors
Crimes Act offences
260 False accounting
Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years who, with intent to obtain by deception any property, privilege, service, pecuniary advantage, benefit, or valuable consideration, or to deceive or cause loss to any other person,—
(a) makes or causes to be made, or concurs in the making of, any false entry in any book or account or other document required or used for accounting purposes; or
(b) omits or causes to be omitted, or concurs in the omission of, any material particular from any such book or account or other document; or
(c) makes any transfer of any interest in a stock, debenture, or debt in the name of any person other than the owner of that interest.
About the SFO
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act.
The SFO is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption.
The presence of an agency dedicated to white collar crime is integral to New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity and low levels of corruption.
The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.
Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.”
Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…”
In considering whether a matter involves serious or complex fraud, the Director may, among other things, have regard to:
- the suspected nature and consequences of the fraud and/or;
- the suspected scale of the fraud and/or;
- the legal, factual and evidential complexity of the matter and/or;
- any relevant public interest considerations.
The SFO’s Annual Report 2018 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Integrated Statement of Strategic Intent 2016-2020 sets out the SFO’s strategic goals and performance standards. Both are viewable online at www.sfo.govt.nz
The SFO Twitter feed is @SFO_NZ