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Current as of 05/12/16 04:59PM NZST

Father of SkyCity fraud accused gets freezing order lifted

By Rob Kidd

Last month, Grant pleaded guilty to seven fraud-related charges at the Hamilton District Court relating to her time as the commercial manager at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.
Last month, Grant pleaded guilty to seven fraud-related charges at the Hamilton District Court relating to her time as the commercial manager at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.

The father of a woman accused of ripping off SkyCity for more than $1.2 million has had freezing orders on his assets lifted.

The casino company recently lodged a complaint with police about Tessa Grant, 40, who this year pleaded guilty to defrauding Waikato Diocesan School for Girls to the tune of $800,000 to fund her high-rolling lifestyle.

SkyCity was then successful in applying to the High Court to freeze her assets so it could attempt to recover the $1.26m allegedly stolen.

After receivers began an urgent investigation, orders were also obtained in relation to her father John Grant, which restricted him to $500 a week living expenses and $5000 to pay legal fees.

SkyCity's lawyer Jacqueline Lethbridge said the investigation had found two instances in which Ms Grant had transferred assets to her father's company.

One covered an $80,000 horse truck and the freezing orders were obtained to protect any further transfers.

In the High Court at Auckland today those orders were lifted against Mr Grant on the proviso that he did not deal with certain agreed assets.

His daughter's property continue to be legally frozen.

Grant worked at the casino in a senior management role from 2006 to 2014 when her contract was terminated, the company said.

SkyCity's chief officer, Nigel Morrison said during her employment Grant appeared to have been responsible for a number of "unexplained transactions", discovered during an internal review.

Our investigations into Ms Grant's activities are ongoing, including the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending, and we will provide any information and support necessary to the police to help with their investigation.
Nigel Morrison

Last month, Grant pleaded guilty to seven fraud-related charges at the Hamilton District Court relating to her time as the commercial manager at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.

Court documents showed she used fake invoices from a school building project to reap $795,000 in the nine months to August last year -- using the cash to help buy an equestrian centre in Horotiu, as well as a horse and jewellery.

She was on a $125,000 annual salary at the time of the offending.

The offending occurred after Grant was appointed to the position at the prestigious school in July 2014, but was not noticed until after she resigned in September the following year.

- NZME.

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