Jared Savage is a senior reporter at the New Zealand Herald

Fraud case: $4.4m 'stolen'

Sushila Devi
Sushila Devi

The amount of money allegedly stolen from one of the country's largest freight companies in a long-running fraud can now be revealed.

More than $4.4 million is the figure that Sushila Devi Mosese is alleged to have fraudulently obtained from Mainfreight, the transport and logistics company where she worked for more than 20 years.

Suppression over the sum lapsed after Mosese's legal team indicated they would appeal against a judge's decision to allow publication of the figure, but then abandoned the appeal.

Mosese sought to have the $4.4 million sum suppressed, as publication of the "grossly overinflated figure" would increase public interest and jeopardise her rights to a fair trial.

Judge Tony Fitzgerald dismissed the suppression bid and said that while he was aware of the need to protect the right to a fair trial, he was not persuaded it was appropriate to suppress the amounts listed in the charge sheets.

Mosese, 50, has been bailed to her Otahuhu home but is due to make a second appearance in the Auckland District Court today to face eight fraud charges of using cheques dishonestly. A trial date is yet to be set.

She declined to comment yesterday but has previously supplied an affidavit to the court in which she "disputes the amount which it is alleged that I have taken by 20-fold".

Unusually, the complainant in the alleged fraud was not named in the charge sheets. But Don Braid, the Mainfreight group director, told the NZX two weeks ago that the company had uncovered misappropriation by a credit controller at its Daily Freight subsidiary.

The amount involved was not "material to Mainfreight", said Mr Braid, and the matter was uncovered during an internal examination of the freight forwarding business.

The Herald understands Mosese, who also runs her own fashion boutique and beauty salon, allegedly deposited cheques for payment into a bank account she set up with a similar name to Daily Freight.

Mosese is alleged to have withdrawn the money and spent it.

Sushila Devi Mosese

Eight charges of obtaining a pecuniary advantage dishonestly and without claim or right using a document, namely cheques, to obtain:

2006: $245,401.95

2007: $849,395.50

2008: $790,819.84

2009: $469,974.21

2010: $526,772.27

2011: $472,392.77

2012: $651,204.18

2013: $409,789.57

Total: $4,415,750.29

- NZ Herald

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