Former boss awaits his fate in court

David John Conroy, former Chief Executive of the Lion Foundation, a charitable organisation, is awaiting his fate at the Auckland District Court on proven charges of fraud.

A Jury trial found him guilty of false accounting.

Judge Gibson remanded him on bail and said he would be sentenced on April 13.

The charges related to three journal entries made between 2002 and 2004 in the Foundation accounts, which resulted in the write-off of $520,000.00 from a debt balance owed by ‘Strathern Inn’ in Invercargill.

The Court heard that Mr Conroy made the journal entries without the knowledge or approval of the Board to hide the true amount owed by Strathern Inn.

The Foundation provided 18 gaming machines to Strathern Inn, owned by Sharon and Wayne Ogilvy but the former managed the business.

The Foundation is the authorised owner of gaming machines installed at its members’ premises but delegates its operation to the premises through Site Agreements.

The Strathern Inn Site Agreement required the premises to deposit gaming machine proceeds in full into bank account of the Foundation within five working days of the weekly profit return date.

The Agreement also specified that “all proceeds should be kept separate from all other moneys at all times” and that these should not be banked into her own trading account or any other account other than that of the Foundation.

The weekly gaming machine proceeds of Strathern Inn was generally between $20,000 and $35,000, averaging about $25,000, throughout the period of Ms Ogilvy’s ownership.

From February 2001, the Foundation regularly advised Ms Ogilvy of its concern at her failure to bank gaming machine proceeds within five working days.

As a result of continued short banking, the Foundation started to withhold site rental payments from September 2001 in an attempt to recover funds not banked by Ms Ogilvy.

Despite withholding site rental payments, Strathern Inn continued to short bank gaming machine proceeds and the debt continued to grow.

Mrs Ogilvy previously pleaded guilty to charges of theft by a person in a special relationship and theft by a person required to account in relation to the same facts and case summary. She was sentenced in November 2009.

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