• Introducing the New Zealand Justice Forum

    The New Zealand Justice Forum aims to pool the collective experiences of our citizens, lawyers, and academics in order to discuss the many defects that weaken the integrity of the legal system.
  • Fraudster jailed after theft from school

    Donald John Hancox, former executive officer at Upper Hutt College, has apologised for fleecing the school over seven years as he was sentenced to Mr Hancox has been sentenced to two years and three months’ imprisonment

    Hancox, 68, of Carterton, who worked at the college for 20 years, pleaded guilty to 10 criminal charges of obtaining $375,000 by deception over a seven-year period during which he was the school's executive officer.

    The role gave him responsibility for the financial management of the school, including approval of invoices for payment and preparation of annual accounts.

    The Serious Fraud Office said that, during periods of building work at the college between 2007 and 2014, Hancox created and submitted false invoices for goods and services from a range of entities then directed payments to his own bank accounts and accounts controlled by him.

    There were major building works at the college while Hancox was executive officer. The school declined to answer questions about the works mentioned by the SFO.

    It was during periods of building work from 2007 to 2014 that Mr Hancox created and submitted false invoices for goods and services to Upper Hutt College from various entities. Mr Hancox then directed payments of those invoices to bank accounts linked or controlled by him. A total of 77 invoices were submitted in his offending.

    SFO Director, Julie Read said, “Mr Hancox used his control over the approval and payment of invoices to deliberately mislead the school. This was not only a gross breach of trust but his actions also had the potential to cause serious damage to the reputation of the school.”
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