News

Rogue bookkeeper tracked down in NZ after fleeing country

A LISMORE bookkeeper who fled to New Zealand before the Supreme Court ordered her to repay her employer more than $300,000 has been tracked down by private investigators.

In July 2012, the NSW Supreme Court ordered Nina Carrington to repay Lismore Skin Clinic owner Dr Ken Gudmundsen $301,501.92 for transfers to accounts in her name she conducted while working as practice manager between July 2008 and August 2011.

The court heard Ms Carrington conducted more than 700 transfers totalling $490,000 from Mr Gudmundsen's accounts, but Judge Stevenson found some of the transactions were for legitimate business expenses.

"On the face of it, this was highly irregular behaviour involving, as it did, an employee of the medical practice, transferring a little under half a million dollars from her employer's account to her own, over a period of some two years," Judge Stevenson wrote in his reasons for the judgment.

Dr Gudmundsen said he engaged a New Zealand company to register the judgment in the hope Ms Carrington could be prosecuted under the Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act of 2010.

He said the company employed a private investigator who tracked Ms Carrington and family to the South Island town of Nelson.

"I hope this experience will highlight the need for other small businesses to review their practices in order to prevent employee fraud," Dr Gudmundsen said.

He also hoped to strengthen regulations concerning people fleeing Australia to escape paying their debts.

Now the judgment is registered with the High Court of New Zealand, Dr Gudmundsen hopes to recoup some of his losses.

"I think it would be justice served to recoup some of the money."

The Notice of Registration of an Australian Judgment in the New Zealand High Court was served on Ms Carrington on February 11 at her Nelson address.

Ms Carrington has 30 days to apply to the court to have the matter set aside, or pay $301,501.92 plus $48,249.30 in interest and a registration fee of $697 to Dr Gudmundsen.

Topics:  accounting, business, supreme court



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