November 21, 2013
Trust work halted by fraud
A $4000 fraud has spelled the end of a Porirua charity that aimed to keep teenagers out of gangs.
Business manager Toni Lorraine Gardener has admitted stealing from Streets Ahead 237 between May 2012 and February this year.
She will be sentenced next month.
Founder Wayne Poutou, a former Mongrel Mob member, says he is continuing to work with many of the young people from the programme.
He says as a Christian he hopes Gardener can overcome her problems.
Streets Ahead chair Gregory Fortuin says funding from the Ministry of Social Development was put on hold once the extent of Gardener's fraud was discovered, forcing the closure.
He says Gardener’s references were checked before she was hired in early 2012, but none of the referees mentioned she was under investigation for fraud at her previous job with the Department of Internal Affairs.
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