15 Nov 2011

Former school employee pleads guilty to dishonesty charges

7:06 pm on 15 November 2011

A former accountant at a Wellington high school has admitted stealing more than $126,000 from the school to pay for escorts, a waterbed and a mortgage.

David Don, who was was the executive officer at St Patricks College, has pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court to eight charges of dishonestly accessing a computer and one charge of money laundering.

Between September 2006 and March 2011, Don made 107 dishonest transactions, including inflating reimbursement costs and withdrawing money from the school's bank account into his own.

A summary of facts revealed he spent $34,000 on mortgage repayments, $19,820 on escorts in Wellington and Lower Hutt, and $3,700 on a deluxe waterbed.

He also billed a 182 dollar overnight stay at a hotel to the school and dishonestly transferred more than $1107 from the school's bank account to pay for 30 personalised sweat shirts for his football team.

At a college disciplinary meeting in April, Don apologised for the fraud and admitted he spent the money on prostitutes and daily living.

He has promised to pay back the money and has been remanded on bail until sentencing on 3 February 2012.