A prominent Māori performing arts educator has admitted defrauding a tertiary education provider and a Crown agency of approximately $1.25 million.
Donna Mariana Grant (61) appeared today in the Rotorua High Court where she pleaded guilty to three charges of ‘Dishonestly using documents’ and a single charge of ‘Obtaining by deception’. The charges were brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
Mrs Grant used her position in several organisations to fraudulently obtain funding from Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and the Tertiary Education Commission.
The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Mrs Grant abused her position of authority and the trust of her colleagues to misappropriate a significant amount of public funds. Although the defendant did not use the funds to benefit herself financially, her offending was nonetheless criminal in nature and risked the reputation of the institutions she represented.”
The defendant has been remanded on bail to reappear in the Rotorua High Court for sentencing on 7 February.