A woman who was given access to her dead father's bank accounts to help take care of day-to-day business has since admitted to stealing more than $1.4 million alongside her husband.

Claire Quirke, 43, was given authority to help with her then ailing father's bank accounts and then later after his death in early August, 2016.

Her father, Robin Milligan, was a joint director with his wife, Shirley Milligan, of the Milligan's Radio (1972) Ltd business.

When he died, the sole executor and beneficiary of his estate was his wife.


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Quirke, married to 40-year-old Edward Quirke, was tasked to help with making certain payments from her dead father's bank accounts on a day-to-day nature.

Information given in a court summary of facts shows that on Monday, August 1, 2016, Edward Quirke logged into his father-in-law's Milligan's Radio Ltd bank account without authorisation and transferred $3000 into his own personal bank account.

That was the same day his father-in-law had died.

Three days later, another $3000 was transferred by Quirke into his bank account.

A Christchurch couple have admitted to stealing more than $1 million from the woman's mother. Image / Google
A Christchurch couple have admitted to stealing more than $1 million from the woman's mother. Image / Google

Documents show between August 12, 2016 and September 13 that same year, Edward Quirke accessed his dead father-in-law's business bank account on 10 more occasions and withdrew a total of $34,000.

The total amount taken out of the Milligan's Radio account by Edward Quirke was $40,000.

A further $12,600 was withdrawn from Robin Milligan's personal account by his son-in-law.


"Between 20 September 2016 and 14 December 2017, Mr Quirke accessed another (BNZ) bank account in the name of Robin B Milligan on 76 occasions, withdrawing a total amount of $1,340,900," the summary of facts says.

Shirley Milligan would only find out about the offending two years later in January, 2018.

She reported the matter to police.

Police investigations found that more than $560,000 was spent on gambling by Edward Quirke, about the same amount on money transfers, more than $128,000 on assets and just over $121,000 in ATM withdrawals.

Claire Quirke's personal bank account also received money transferred from her father's accounts.

The couple declined to make a statement to police, but now more than $1.4m is being sought for recovery.


They are due to be sentenced in September.