Social club theft

03:58, Jul 31 2013

A woman who stole nearly half a million dollars from a Southland company she worked for appeared in the Gore District Court today.

Janice Raewyn Keenan, 54, of Upper Charlton, appeared before Judge Michael Turner in the Gore District Court facing 53 charges of using a cheque to obtain pecuniary advantage.

Keenan was employed as an office worker for Hokonui Rural Transport and the offending happened from 2008 to 2013 and totalled $450,000.

As an office worker for the company she was in charge of payroll and lately the company's social club.

Police prosector Sergeant Rob Mills said Keenan and one other were authorised to write cheques from the social club account.

However, the second person left Keenan in charge of the club account.

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Mr Mills said Keenan forged the other persons signature on occasions, and unknown to anyone else at the company, she started operating a second chequebook for the social club account.

The court was told customers would come to pay their bills, and Keenan would shift it to the social club account.

She spent the money on mortgage payments, accommodation, giving her own children money to help them out, but could not account for the total amount.

The court was told Keenan did not know why she offended saying Hokonui Rural Transport had been a good boss.

Judge Turner remanded Keenan in custody to reappear on August 14, called for a pre-sentence report.

The court was told Keenan was keen to take part in a restorative justice process with her former employer.

The Southland Times