Former Hamilton casino manager jailed for $1.98M fraud

  • Tessa Grant jailed for seven years after $796,000 school theft
  • 41-year-old also found guilty of stealing $1.98 million from Sky City Casino in Hamilton

A former casino manager has been jailed for seven years after being found guilty by Hamilton District Court of committing fraud totalling $2.5 million.

Former Hamilton casino manager Tessa Grant
Former Hamilton casino manager Tessa Grant

Tessa Grant, aged 41, had pleaded guilty to a total of ten fraud and theft charges committed between 2008 and 2015.

Grant had originally been changed with stealing $796,000 while she was the commercial manager of Waikato Diocesan School, but additional charges of fraud relating to her time as finance manager and general manager of Hamilton’s Sky City Casino were also laid, following an internal investigation by the casino resort.

According to a report by Radio NZ, the court heard evidence that the money Grant obtained was used to fund a number of equestrian-related purchases, including the acquisition of a property for a horse arena, a horse truck and a payment of $300,000 to a member of New Zealand’s high-performance equestrian team.

No remorse

Grant was able to defraud the Sky City Casino by using cheques drawn on the land based casino‘s account, while her school theft involved fake invoices and falsified minutes.

According to the Crown Prosecutor, Ross Douch, Grant’s main motivation was personal gain, and she showed no remorse for her actions.

Judge Philip Connell agreed with the prosecution, saying that he could see no sincere expression of remorse on her part.

Radio NZ reporting revealed that the money stolen from the Waikato Diocesan School has since been paid back, along with interest fees and legal costs but Hamilton’s Sky City Casino was still attempting to recover its money through the civil courts.

A Sky City Casino spokesperson said that the casino had spent around $500,000 on investigating the case.

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