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Former Employee Of Government-funded Charity Jailed For Fraud

A former employee of a charity that offered social support services in Auckland has been sentenced to two years and one month of imprisonment on charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office.

Tapualii Raewyn Uitime (49) was sentenced today in the Manukau District Court on three representative charges of ‘Forgery’ and six representative charges of ‘Dishonestly using a document’.

Ms Uitime defrauded the now defunct Pacific Island Safety and Prevention Project of approximately $260,000. The defendant was the operations manager of the charity, which received most of its funding from the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Justice and Department of Corrections.

The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Ms Uitime abused her position of trust to steal a significant amount of public funds that were allocated for social support services, including family support, counselling and family violence education within the Pacific Island community in Auckland. The defendant used the funds for her own benefit, including on gambling. The offending was not spur of the moment, but a course of conduct which continued over several years.”

Ms Uitime’s co-defendant Betty Leuina Sio (56) has pleaded not guilty to two charges of ‘Dishonestly using a document’. Her trial is scheduled to commence in the Manukau District Court on 18 January 2021.

© Scoop Media

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