Woman stole $41k from her employer

A woman who ripped off her employer to the tune of $41,000 cried in the dock as she heard how her bosses were "shattered" by her actions.

Over the course of 22 months, Marilyn Jean Hoogenraad (56), of Hampden, stole $41,436.01 from Hoskins Transport Ltd, the Dunedin District Court heard.

She appeared for sentencing before Judge Emma Smith yesterday on one charge of theft by a person in a special relationship, and one charge of accessing a computer system for dishonest reasons.

Hoogenraad had worked for Waitaki Transport Ltd as an office manager since 2004, and continued to work there when it was integrated into Hoskins Transport Ltd in 2017.

Her offending began the following year, as she found herself in financial strife.

In her role, she was responsible for paying wages, settling accounts, and purchasing road user charges for the company’s vehicles.

In short, she had access to the company’s accounts.

On May 28, 2018, she used Hoskins Transport Ltd’s account to buy a road user charge licence for her partner’s vehicle, at a cost of $436.10.

Over the next 22 months, she used the account to purchase similar licences and registrations for vehicles belonging to her and her partner. The 10 transactions amounted to $5914.63.

On June 28, 2018, she transferred $199.98 from the company’s bank account to herself.

She tried to disguise the transaction by using the references of a usual supplier.

That was followed by 15 transfers into her account and an account in the name of a company owned by her and her partner.

She transferred $35,521.38 in total, and only stopped when she was caught.

Judge Smith said the offending had left the victims shattered, as they had a huge amount of trust in the defendant.

"They are shocked and appalled."

She said Hoogenraad made no excuses for her actions, which were sparked by "punishing financial circumstances" she was experiencing at the time.

Hoogenraad and her partner owned a petrol station in Hampden, which was making significant losses and staff were being let go.

The starting point was a sentence of 18 months in prison, which was reduced for her early guilty pleas, good character, and remorse.

She was sentenced to two months and two weeks of community detention.


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