Ex-Defence Force administrator admits $225,000 fraud

A former defence force employee has pleaded guilty to stealing non-public funds administered by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) while she was employed by the organisation.

Paniparewhakaro Elizabeth Rangiuia (60) embezzled approximately $225,000 over seven years from accounts holding money raised by NZDF members for the health, wellbeing and retention of army personnel. The Army Non-Public Funds are a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005.

Ms Rangiuia pleaded guilty today to one representative charge of ‘Theft by person in a special relationship’ and one charge of ‘False accounting’ brought by the Serious Fraud Office. Ms Rangiuia gambled much of the money she stole.

The Director of the SFO, Julie Read, said, “Ms Rangiuia was solely responsible for administering these charitable funds at Waiouru. The defendant abused her position of trust to steal a significant amount of funds raised by army personnel.”

The defendant was remanded on bail to reappear in the Palmerston North District Court for sentencing on 24 June.

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