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Fraudster admits to thousands in savings

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 22/05/2014

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A convicted fraudster says she would suffer "extreme hardship" if she were required to pay back even a fraction of the $600,000 she stole from IHC.

But the High Court at Wellington was told yesterday that Lynn Fiebig, who is now out of jail and working as a car valet in Whanganui, has more than $11,000 in two bank accounts.

Fiebig, 60, was sentenced to three years' jail in 2010 for defrauding IHC of $590,029.80 while working as its fundraising manager between November 2006 and May 2009. Most of that money funded her luxury lodge project, Ahuru Lodge, in Ohakune, previously owned with her partner.

Associate High Court Judge Warwick Smith yesterday ordered her to pay $25 a week to IHC for the next two years. The reparations, totalling $2600, would amount to just a fraction of the debt she owed, which now stands at more than $750,000.

She earns $15 an hour in her car valeting job. When asked by the judge what reparations she could afford to make out of her take-home pay of $468.30, she told the court she was not in a position to offer anything. "It would place me in extreme hardship and I don't know how I would manage."

Lawyers representing IHC asked for $60 a week, but Fiebig said such a sum would be "absolutely impossible" to pay.

The judge said Fiebig's fraud had "huge and serious consequences for IHC" and some ongoing compensation was appropriate. He also ordered her to pay the costs of yesterday's hearing.

Fiebig told the court she held more than $11,000 in two savings accounts. The judge advised that an order could be made for IHC to seize these funds.

IHC lawyer Olivia Lund said $11,000 was "a lot of money to sit in an account when she owes IHC $700,000".

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- The Dominion Post

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