20 Nov 2008

Directors' signatures forged, DHB fraud trial told

7:25 pm on 20 November 2008

The High Court in Dunedin has been told of forgeries and inconsistent dates on documents during a trial alleging a $17 million fraud at Otago District Health Board.

The board's former IT manager Michael Swann and friend Kerry Harford admit receiving the money, but deny doing anything dishonest or fraudulent.

The court was told on Thursday that some of the money received by Mr Swann first went to a company called Computer South.

Police document examiner Trish James said the authorising signatures were forged on 28 Computer South cheques that she examined.

The court was told the signatures were imitations of those of two company directors Peter Ibbotson and Mr Swann's then-wife Anna Devereux.

Ms James said she could not determine who the forger was, but did say that the rest of the writing on all but one of those cheques belonged to Mr Swann.