IHC fraudster should still be locked up or – worse – sent to Christchurch to await sentencing

Too many bloody judges have gone soft on the crims, as we all know.

This applies to the judge who has allowed a former Wellington restaurateur to await sentencing at her Ohakune lodge – described on Stuff as “plush” – after she admitted stealing almost $600,000 donated to disabled children.

She has been bailed to live at the lodge until sentencing in March.

Well turned out in a black dress, former IHC national fundraising manager Lynn Fiebig, 56, stood impassively in Wellington District Court yesterday. She pleaded guilty to 74 counts of fraudulently using documents, and one of laundering money.

There’s something especially egregious, it seems to Alf, in dipping into the donations intended for disabled people.

Accordingly he would have locked her up while she awaits sentence, and if he did release her on bail he would have made her live in circumstances much less agreeable than thoe provided by a plush lodge at Ohakune.

Confining her to Christchurch would do the trick.

Come to think of it, being confined to Christchurch would be worse than a remand cell.

Stuff tells us Fiebig started at IHC in 2003, and was promoted to national fundraising manager in September 2007.

Between October 31, 2006, and May 25, 2009, she used fake invoices from three fictitious companies – Lander Group, Maxim Design Group and Mary Owen Transport – to steal $590,029….

The fraud was detected by a regular internal review, but only after Fiebig left IHC in June.

For IHC, the fraud was the worst 60th birthday present imaginable. The charity is still coming to terms with the loss of one-fifth of its annual fundraising revenue, and the betrayal of trust. Devastated co-workers shed tears in court as the guilty pleas were read.

Rugby legend and IHC supporter Sir Colin Meads said he was shocked by the theft.

Sir Colin, who Fiebig enlisted to be the face of an IHC fundraising scheme, told Radio New Zealand her offending “came as a huge shock” but he was pleased she had spared the charity further pain by pleading guilty.

On top of the fraud, the IHC has been whacked by the effects of an Employment Court ruling that disability support workers must be paid a minimum $12.50 an hour during sleepovers.

IHC estimates the move would cost an unaffordable $20m a year in extra wages.

Tha will gobble up a good chunk of the charity’s annual turnover of $260 million.

Obviously, they can’t afford to have another chunk – albeit comparatively small – siphoned off by fraudulent staff.

In light of this, Alf is a tad puzzled by IHC chief executive Ralph Jones.

On the one hand, he says the charity’s financial controls are sound.

On the other, he says some changes would be made to recruitment processes and to ensure one person was not responsible for so many accounting functions.

Good move.

Alf based this post on a court report which was subsequently corrected in the Dominion-Post. The newspaper apologised for statements it had erroneously made about Alexander Fiebig and Richard Chittock. Alf likewise apologises and has removed the erroneous bit of the court report from his post.

9 Responses to IHC fraudster should still be locked up or – worse – sent to Christchurch to await sentencing

  1. tony says:

    i think the ceo and financial director of the IHC have a lot to answer for…why was it that it took 2 and half years to detect this issue? …what were they doing? Maybe not looking at there books…Ralph jones and Co were sloppy with there control of the company. His comments, (sounds like a bully)……as in there financial controls are sound / then on the flipside he says changes would be made to recruitment process…..( make up your mind) he should or maybe the board should start shooting the gun at these high profile suits, who think they have it all under control….NOT……i have all sympathy for the all the victims on both sides but if heads don’t roll within the IHC considering they were in control of of public money and it did take this amount of time to detect the fraud they should’t be in there position for the recovery of the IHC…

  2. mspacifica says:

    Well all I can say is that at least the IHC did pick it up – eventually. The same cannot be said for the ASB which are supposed to be subject to the most rigorous auditing of all – both internal and external auditors over a 10 year period missed that fraud. Most companies have two signatories on expense authorizations, whoever signed the IHC expenses off should go – they failed in their jobs -it’s that simple. What astonishes me more is the lack of outcry over this – are Alf and Tony the only New Zealanders who think this is outrageous. What is going on inside the head of a formerly successful (apparently) businesswoman to take this kind of action? Jail! – this looks like a perfect case for reparative justice – why don’t they make her work it off for those she’s defrauded at minimum wage rates.

  3. Philip says:

    Here’s the TV3 coverage:

  4. Philip says:

    Here’s the TV3 coverage again ;>

  5. taane says:

    i think this lady is a dispicable, greedy,keeping up with the jones wannabe and heartless,selfish creature.
    Why the hell isnt she in jail you tell me that now??Maybe she gets off cause shes white??If that was a maori, islander, indian,etc…straight to jail for you!!

  6. lock her up says:

    we work for ihc and we are so very very careful receiting every litle cent when we have to use money for outings, morning tea,concerts, social events, holidays etc…with the people we care for.
    To think somebody like this woman can just waltz in shining, squeaky clean look and steal, thieve thousands over a period of 2 years makes my blood boil…you lady are nothing but a stinkin greedy money hungry theif!!and jail needs to be where your residency is for the nxt 3 or so years!!you make me sick..

  7. not surprised!! says:

    you know ihc prides themselves on auditing, up to date trainings,police checks,monitoring,service meetings,facility meetings to disguss issues that can better the lives of people with disabilities and you get some one like this person that doesnt give a rats arse but just sees dollars signs and looking bloody good, well ihc i say…good job!!stop picking on the real hard working staff that make you management look good and look in your own management backyard!!it starts at the top!!

  8. justice sort of served says:

    after watching this report i dont think that lady had any remorse what so ever, her body language was one of “just get it over and done with” say something to shut them all up. well i hope you never again work any where near money, and hope you get taught a lesson inside with the tuff nuts!!there wont be any caviar and champagne where youll be going lady, only slop slop slop…theives always get sprung and you got well and truely sprung!!ka boing!!!!

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