A former senior SkyCity executive and Hamilton school manager who defrauded the organisations of $2.77 million has been denied parole.
Tessa Fiona Grant was jailed for six years after successfully appealing her original sentence of seven years and eight months handed down in 2017.
Grant was SkyCity's finance manager before climbing up the ranks and filling in as general manager during her time at the Hamilton casino between 2006 and 2014.
From there she went onto Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in Hamilton where she was commercial manager, second only to the principal, with a salary of $125,000.
In less than a year she had stolen about $800,000.
Given her relatively sophisticated fraud, she used the approximate $2.77m to splash out on a $900,000 property, a $68,000 horse and $55,000 in custom-designed jewellery.
She was able to carry out her thefts by falsifying cheques in her role at SkyCity and falsified invoices as the Hamilton high school carried out works on a new build on site.
She was eventually arrested after suspicions were raised by the school. After appearing in court, SkyCity also did an audit and discovered the theft which initially stood at $1.26m before ballooning to $1,980,922.01.
After being jailed - and serving a minimum non-parole period of 50 per cent - she was able to successfully argue a sentence reduction by showing the court how much she'd paid back - all of the $795k from the school and $1.4m of the nearly $2m stolen.
In its decision dated September 1, Grant's lawyer noted that Grant had to "dig deep to really understand the causes of her offending".
Grant told the board she had justified the SkyCity offending in her mind because she was a hard worker and the company was making a lot of money.
The board noted what was not said was that she was motivated by greed.
Her offending was justified in court as being due to emotional and financial pressures put on her by family members, which included giving someone a place to live making another member happy.
Grant told the board she was easily influenced but they were not given any "concrete examples".
Grant was currently working in the prison cafe and was assisting in distribution. On release, she intends to work on a farm moving animals.
The board noted while it was clear Grant had "done a lot of thinking about herself", it was less clear that she had made the necessary changes not to reoffend.
"While she presented elaborate explanations of her offending we were not persuaded she has really accepted what was really behind it.
"[Lawyer] used the word 'greed', Ms Grant never did. As the judge noted [at sentencing], Ms Grant enjoyed the things and the lifestyle that her theft afforded her."
For those reasons the board wasn't satisfied she was ready to be released.
It ordered a psychological risk assessment be carried out on Grant to focus on what treatment she has had and what she needs in the future to bring about meaningful change.
She would be seen again for parole in February, next year.