The identity of a long-serving accountant who stole more than $5.4 million from a family-owned business group can now be revealed.
Richard Arthur Watson pleaded guilty to two theft charges in January but was granted bail and name suppression until his sentencing.
He spent millions of dollars gambling as a high roller at SkyCity casino's VIP lounge.
The 58-year-old was supposed to be sentenced in the Manukau District Court last week. But his lawyer, Shane Tait, asked Judge Charles Blackie to adjourn the case so a psychiatric report could be prepared.
Judge Blackie agreed, but revoked Watson's bail and name suppression.
He remanded him in custody until a new sentencing date next month.
The chief financial controller had a $300,000 salary - with annual bonuses of $50,000 - but stole $5.4 million over 10 years until he was discovered last year.
With complete control of the finances of Ross Group, which includes a tiling business, Watson was able to shuffle money between accounts using BNZ PC banking, a banking service for businesses, to hide his tracks.
He then transferred money to himself more than 150 times, sometimes as much as $100,000.
Watson, who had worked for the Ross family for 30 years, was considered part of the family. Company director Cameron Ross declined to comment until Watson is sentenced next month.
The theft was discovered when an audit was ordered into the company's poor performance. Watson admitted the theft immediately.
The gambling of stolen money is similar to the case of Herminia Lanuza, also an accountant, who was jailed last year after stealing $2.7 million to spend as a VIP at SkyCity.
Gib Beattie, director of forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley & Associates, said senior staff in positions of trust knew how to exploit systems.
"Business owners need to have a good hard look at how the money goes out, not just in, and a lot can be saved with regular audits."By Jared Savage @jaredsavageNZH Email Jared