Fraudster told to pay money back to Hibernians

In its just-released decision, the Employment Relations Authority has ordered Susan Hagai to repay the Hibernian Society $547,000. She was also made to repay interest on the money of $3695.61, plus $2000 in costs.

Originally convicted by Judge Susan Thomas of defrauding the Hibernian Society, Judge Thomas, did not order Hagai to repay the $1,242,750 she stole from the society.

At that time the court heard there were no assets to be sold, and Hagai had spent the money on her children’s education and her family’s lifestyle, including travel and sporting events.

The Hibernian Society sued Hagai in the High Court at Wellington.

In February, associate Judge Roger Bell said there were ”inconsistent decisions” on where such cases could be decided and said the Employment Relations Authority should hear it.

Details of three years of unauthorised transactions were put before the authority as evidence.

Hagai was found to have transferred $574,000 from the society’s accounts into accounts belonging to her and her husband between May 2007 and June 2010.

Hagai  served about 16 months of the sentence. She impressed the Parole Board.

“We were of the unanimous view that she presented in a very authentic and genuine manner. She is very remorseful for her offending,” the board said.

She was freed on March 19 last year but the conditions of her parole continue until December next year.

The conditions include not managing money in a paid or unpaid capacity without the permission of a probation officer.


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