23 Oct 2012

Otago University manager jailed for fraud

10:50 pm on 23 October 2012

A former Otago University accounts manager who stole $238,846 has been jailed for more than two-and-a-half years.

Graeme Pettitt, 61, pleaded guilty last month to paying himself the money by using 72 false invoices over the past eight years to feed alcohol and gambling addictions.

In the Dunedin District Court on Tuesday Judge Michael Crosbie said Pettitt had been a senior and trusted manager of Otago University and the sentence had to denounce increasingly sophisticated computer fraud.

Pettitt's lawyer argued he had already lost his job, house and signed over his superannuation to the university in reparation for his crime, and home detention would be the appropriate sentence.

But Judge Crosbie said the reparation would cover less than a quarter of what Pettitt stole, and sentenced him to two years and seven months imprisonment.