Metiria Turei: Jail or home detention?


First this

The employer of a woman who stole more than $200,000 lived on the bare minimum for three years completely unaware one of his most trust[ed] staff members was stealing from him.

It would eventually be a new staff member at AP Group who became suspicious about Lois Jean Povey’s transactions that eventually lifted the lid on her sizeable, and lengthy, theft.

And it was the lengthy nature of Povey’s theft that today saw Judge Philip Connell jail her for two years and two months in the Hamilton District Court.

And now some numbers.

Metiria had three boarders who all paid weekly for five years.   Let’s say they paid $80 each.  That’s in excess of $60,000 that Metiria has defrauded.   And that’s at $80 a week, it could have been more.  Much more.  

So $200,000 and the lengthy term of offending were a factor in this.

Judge Connell said although she was a first-time offender and, up until 2010 – when the offending began – was a decent citizen, he couldn’t help but look at the amount stolen and over how long – five years – that left him with no option but to send her to prison.

It appears it isn’t so much the amount of money, but the sustained nature of the offending that makes the difference between home detention and a custodial sentence.

One thing is for sure:  If Metiria somehow manages to admit to $50,000+ in fraud and does not at least face the court system, especially as she did the offending to obtain a law degree, then I’m not sure what standards of behaviour we can possibly measure any kind of criminal act against any longer.

This woman needs to be charged and go through a court process.  I will accept whatever comes out the other end.




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