Jonathan Kirkpatrick,53, the former chief executive of the AUT Business Innovation Centre has pleaded guilty to defrauding the university of more than half a million dollars.

Kirkpatrick resigned after an internal investigation found “accounting discrepencies” totalling $665,000.

He pleaded guilty to seven fraud related charges when he appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning. Sentencing will be carried out on 6th October.

The offending took place over a span of eight years.

Comment

It doesn’t matter how senior or trusted an employee is – if systems are not in place that prevent one person being able to siphon off large sums of money then temptation may eventually get the better of many otherwise honest employees.

Removing the opportunity must always be the primary defence against workplace fraud.