By Chelsea Daniels

An office worker who stole $133,000 from a Christchurch rebuild company has been sentenced to 11 months' home detention and 200 hours of community service.

Katrina Leigh Leoni, 42, worked as a receptionist at Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete Limited in Belfast when she transferred $133,011.71 into her own bank account between November 2012 and January 2015.

Leoni, known as Kate Leoni from Swannanoa in North Canterbury, was responsible for receiving cash payments from customers for the well-established locally-owned company.


"To cover up her dishonest actions, the defendant would then access the company accounting system and place a credit note against the customer's bill," a police summary of facts says.

"The defendant would not re-charge or re-invoice the customers for the credits she had completed. Therefore this had the effect of the customer's bill having been credited [showing nothing owing]. However, the company never received the cash payments."

She earlier pleaded guilty to three representative charges of theft by a person in a special relationship.

In May, she was ordered to declare all of her assets, including any she may have disposed of, before being sentenced.

Today, in the Christchurch District Court, Leoni's lawyer, Anselm Williams, handed over a cheque for $100,000 to her former employers sitting in the court's public gallery.

Judge David Saunders said at the time of offending, staff saw her flaunt what she had achieved.

"In their view they saw very little remorse, even after you were apprehended." He said.
"I can understand why the victim of your offending was reluctant of going through restorative justice."

Leoni will be required to pay the remaining restorations valued at $33,011.71 by October 2.

She is not permitted, unless approval by probation officer, to undertake employment or voluntary work handling money or dealing with account records.