Alex Swney, former Chief Executive of Heart of the City, has appeared in the Auckland District Court to answer a charge brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million.
Mr Swney has pleaded guilty to the charge.
Mr Swney admitted that while at Heart of the City he created fictitious invoices which when submitted, resulted in payments into accounts controlled by him.
SFO Director, Julie Read said, “Mr Swney dishonestly obtained funds to which he knew he was not entitled. The misappropriation of funding intended to benefit Auckland businesses increased the cost of the services provided by Heart of the City and reduced the benefits delivered by what has otherwise been a very successful venture. Fraud of this size by employees who are entrusted with the management and expenditure of substantial sums of money is very costly for both the businesses concerned and more broadly for the community as it harms the integrity of these organisations. In bringing this prosecution the SFO is helping to protect the reputation of New Zealand as safe place in which to do business and invest.”
Mr Swney has been remanded on bail and his next appearance is scheduled for 30 April.
Source: Serious Fraud Office