Sushila Devi Mosese
An Auckland woman who admitted stealing nearly $4.5
million from the transport company she worked for has been
sentenced to four years, six months' jail.
Sushila Devi Mosese, 51, pleaded guilty to eight charges of
dishonestly using a document to obtain nearly $4.5 million
from Mainfreight dating back to 2006.
She appeared in the Auckland District Court before Judge
Phillipa Cunningham today for sentencing today.
The company's credit controller, Mosese was in charge of
collecting outstanding invoices, and court documents show she
deposited cheques for payment into a bank account with a
similar name to her employer.
She had taken control of an ANZ bank account assigned to a
social club under the name of Daily Freight Ltd - with no
association to Daily Freight (1994) Ltd which is a subsidiary
She also directed all of the mail for this account to her
Nearly 500 cheques were deposited into the account she
controlled, from which she withdrew cash - up to $850,000 in
Prosecutor Erin Woolley told the court that "errant journal
entries" were made in conjunction with Mosese diverting these
cheques from Mainfreight's customers.
In some situations Mosese overbilled customers, which
Mainfreight had to refund.
Woolley said offending could only be described as serious and
the "sheer amount involved" and the fact it took place over
seven years were aggravating factors.
It had a big impact on Mosese's former colleagues and flow on
effects for the company's relationships with its customers,
the Crown lawyer said.
Mosese was fired last August after the fraud was discovered.
It came to light after Mosese was asked questions about
outstanding credit owed by customers, with her answers
Despite stealing nearly $4.5 million over eight years, Mosese
has few assets in New Zealand to show for her fraud.
Woolley said today that $3.2 million had been recovered from
third parties after High Court civil proceedings and a
subsequent settlement, leaving about $1.2 million owed by
Mosese. Some funds from the sale of Mosese' family home and
other assets may be used to pay this off, but around $1
million is still expected to be outstanding.
While Mosese's lawyer, Maria Mortimer, said the amount lost
could be taken as $1.2 million, Woolley argued the loss
caused by the offending was $4.4 million and that should be
taken into account for the purposes of sentencing.
Mortimer said the offender was now left with nothing and her
husband had moved to Australia.
Referring to a letter from the fraudster, Mortimer said the
woman had worked for Mainfreight for more than 20 years,
"enjoyed her job and loved everything about it".
Mortimer said her client's remorse was real and that she had
a philanthropic background and had helped communities in her
native country of Fiji.
Judge Cunningham, in sentencing Mosese, said reports provided
by the Department of Corrections portrayed the offender as
someone who like to show herself as a "successful and
The judge said Mosese also had two other businesses which she
operated while working at Mainfreight and that "a good deal"
of the stolen money went to them, often propping them up when
they weren't viable.
The Crown wanted a sentencing starting point of six to seven
years in prison, while the defence suggested a starting point
of four to four and a half years.
The judge said she took into account that $3.2 million had
been recovered when deciding on a starting point of six years
One aggravating feature, the judge said, was the length of
the offending, which would have made uncovering the fraud
Judge Cunningham said Mosese was not entitled to a discount
for previous good character and that the woman had previous
convictions in Fiji, involving theft from an employer.
The judge gave Mosese a 25 per cent discount for her guilty
plea and sentenced her to four years six months in jail.