Stephen Versalko. Photo NZ Herald
Stephen Versalko, the ASB Bank fraudster who stole $18
million, will be released from prison this month, but his wife
has moved on.
Versalko, the ASB Bank's Remuera investment
adviser-turned-fraudster who spent $3.4 million of his stolen
wealth on prostitutes, was granted parole yesterday after
serving the minimum four years of a six-year sentence.
He told the Parole Board he was "deeply remorseful and
ashamed" and "will never again work in the financial sector
or hold a position of financial responsibility".
The discovery of the crime left his wife, primary school
teacher Megan Versalko, in turmoil. The couple lived in a
plush Remuera property with their three children, enjoying
wealth she was told came from smart investments.
Over just six months, the illusion was smashed as Versalko
was first fired from ASB Bank for fraud and then jailed in
2010 after pleading guilty to a Ponzi scheme.
It emerged the money was spent supporting a lifestyle of
indulgence and luxury with a fortune spent on prostitutes and
the fine wine and hotels with which they were entertained.
As he went to prison, Versalko's family said his wife would
stand by him. But a year later she had moved to Auckland's
North Shore and changed her Facebook profile to say she was
in a relationship with a new man, tradesman Malcolm
The Herald was told this year that Megan, 52, was planning
her future with the new man - and not her former husband. A
source close to the family said she had left Versalko and was
fulfilled both personally and professionally. She declined to
One elderly victim, who has name suppression, said she had
learned Megan had left him. "He's lost his family too, I
imagine," she said. "All you can say is he's paid his dues.
Presumably he's learned his lesson."
She said ASB Bank had covered all losses from the fraud.
"He was such an inconsequential little man. You would never
have thought he would do what he did. But he was a very
clever man. I don't know how he wasn't caught sooner."
Versalko's appeal for freedom came before the Parole Board,
led by Judge Richard Watson, at minimum security Rangipo
prison in the central North Island. There was no mention of
family or his wife in the report issued later.
Instead, he told the board he had a solid plan for his
release from prison and support from someone who had also
offered somewhere to live.
The Parole Board report stated he was considered at a low
risk of reoffending so was not placed in any rehabilitation
Versalko will be released on February 25.
The fraud emerged after one of his clients saw a documentary
on US fraudster Bernie Madoff.
At the time of his conviction, Versalko was guilty of
carrying out the biggest employee theft in New Zealand
The Stephen Versalko case
August 2009: ASB Bank says it has fired an employee for
fraud. Stephen Versalko is identified as the employee.
Versalko stole $17.8m from wealthy ASB clients, who thought
the money was being invested, over a nine-year period.
February 2010: Versalko pleads guilty to fraud, admitting he
spent millions of dollars on prostitutes and luxury living. A
month later he is sentenced to six years in prison.
March 2011: On Facebook Megan Versalko lists herself as in a
relationship with tradesman Malcolm Pentecost.
February 2014: Versalko is granted parole, saying he will
never again work in financial services.
- NZ Herald