Matt Nippert is a business investigations reporter.

Westpac teller charged with theft from client accounts

Goodenough is no longer employed by Westpac and police said they began their investigation after a formal complaint from the bank. Photo / Michael Cunningham.
Goodenough is no longer employed by Westpac and police said they began their investigation after a formal complaint from the bank. Photo / Michael Cunningham.

A Westpac bank teller has failed in a bid to keep her name secret after being charged with stealing nearly $12,000 from client accounts.

Kowhai Zoe Harmony Goodenough, 29, was charged on Friday in the Manukau District Court with one charge of dishonestly accessing Westpac's computer systems and another of misusing a client's credit card.

Court documents said the first charge resulted in a loss of $11,605.85 to the client, and the unauthorised credit spending amounted to $955.53.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment.

The offending is alleged to have occurred over a two-month period this year, when Goodenough had been employed at Westpac's Onehunga branch as a customer banking consultant.

After the allegations came to light, Westpac suspended Goodenough.

The bank has previously told the Herald on Sunday it had refunded losses suffered by the client.

Goodenough is no longer employed by Westpac and police said they began their investigation after a formal complaint from the bank.

At her first appearance at court on Friday, Goodenough, through a duty solicitor, sought interim name suppression to allow her time to break the news of the pending criminal case to her sick father.

But after Judge Andree Wiltens was made aware of prior coverage of the case, which the police prosecutor said appeared to make the application redundant, that was denied.

"It seems to me that if there already has been publication of this matter you should have made your father aware of this well before now," Judge Wiltens said.

Goodenough was remanded until her next appearance on November 25, when she is expected to have defence counsel and will enter a plea.

- Herald on Sunday

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