The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has slammed the sentence of a former senior Unitec manager as pathetic.
Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said: “Kimberley Gupwell has been convicted of stealing at least $110.118 of taxpayer money from the cash strapped Unitec. This was no lapse of judgement – there were over 1,400 fraudulent transactions over nearly three years. Her sentence is home detention and reparations of $40,000 to Unitec.”
“That is truly pathetic. Gupwell stole over $100,000 of taxpayer to spend on blouses, lipstick, and home delivery pizza. Now she has to pay back less than half of that and keep everything she robbed from Unitec and the taxpayer. The clear message here is that ‘crime does pay’.”
“The reparations for fraud against the taxpayer should include the full amount plus compound interest.”
“While Unitec is a victim here, it should look closely at its financial systems. 1,400 fraudulent transactions before detection suggests the school’s systems were not up to standard. This occurred at the time they received a $50 million bailout from the Government.”
“Criminals should pay the full price for robbing taxpayers. In this case, Gupwell profited to the tune of $60,000 and got to keep the dresses and hair straighteners. That is not acceptable,” Houlbrooke said.