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Current as of 21/02/17 09:39AM NZST
Matt Nippert is a business investigations reporter.

SkyCity widens net as it chases former employee for $1.26 million

Tessa Grant this year pleaded guilty to defrauding Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. Photo / Facebook
Tessa Grant this year pleaded guilty to defrauding Waikato Diocesan School for Girls. Photo / Facebook

SkyCity is widening its net as it chases more than $1.26 million from former employee Tessa Grant.

The casino giant launched civil action in the High Court in Auckland after Grant admitted defrauding Waikato Diocesan School for Girls - which Grant had joined after leaving SkyCity - of $800,000. The civil action named Grant and her father, John Grant, two companies connected to the pair (J T Equine and Boston Six) and family friend Elizabeth Brown.

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Freezing orders against Grant's father were lifted after he agreed he would not sell certain assets, including an $80,000 horse float. His daughter's assets remain frozen.

Denying media access to the court file, Justice Susan Thomas said SkyCity's investigation was ongoing and other avenues for recovery and complaint were being explored.

"SkyCity state that further parties will likely be added to the underlying proceeding following ancillary discovery orders," she said.

Both sides of the proceeding sought to keep details suppressed, claiming commercial sensitivity.

Justice Thomas conceded there was public interest in the case, but as it was at an early stage the court file did not yet provide a balanced view of proceedings.

Grant was employed by SkyCity in a senior management role at its Hamilton Casino from 2006 until 2014 when her contract was terminated.

She was later employed as commercial manager at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, on a salary of $125,000, before being sacked in August following claims of fraud.

Grant pleaded guilty to seven charges of defrauding the school and is to be sentenced on March 30.

- NZ Herald

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