Staff member admits thefts from charitable trust

Court House-Sept-2013-08A 42-year-old woman has admitted arranging extra payments of her salary to her account, and using a credit card belonging to Fertility New Zealand Ltd for her own purchases.

In May 2011, Michelle Anne Marie Collyer, an executive officer who had management of the organisation’s finances and accounts, told Fertility New Zealand Ltd that it had run out of funds.

The committee arranged an internal audit which revealed that between December 2, 2008, and March 14, 2011, Collyer had used the organisation’s credit card many times without authority.

Her purchases of goods and services from numerous retailers around Christchurch totalled more than $16,000.

Collyer also transferred three additional salary payments into her account totalling more than  $11,000, and wrote cheques for her personal use of more than $2000.

Fertility New Zealand Ltd is a national body which supports, advocates for, and educates people facing infertility. It is a charitable trust, with the head office based in Christchurch.

In the Christchurch District Court, a crying Collyer pleaded guilty to a representative charge of theft by a person in a special relationship.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane asked Judge Jane Farish for a report to assess Collyer’s suitability for home detention, as an option for the sentencing judge.

Crown prosecutor Pip Currie said Fertility NZ was seeking $29,000 reparations.

Judge Farish remanded Collyer to January 23 for a reparation hearing and sentencing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *