Law firm’s ex-credit controller fined over misappropriated funds

by Paolo Taruc15 Sep 2017
The New Zealand Lawyers and Conveyancers Disciplinary Tribunal has levied a hefty fine on a former law-firm employee over a charge of misconduct before the legal body.

Barbara Ann Dobson, an ex-credit controller of the law firm, misappropriated $49,059 over four years by drawing cheques from the firm’s float account, according to the New Zealand Law Society (NZLS). It did not disclose the name of the firm.

To hide unlawful acts, Dobson made fake credit balances on a client ledger in the firm’s practice management system, the NZLS said. Had Dobson been a practicing lawyer, the tribunal said she would have been struck off for her conduct.

The tribunal ordered Dobson to pay $4,000 in costs to the law society, as well as reimburse hearing costs worth $692. It also ordered that no practitioner or incorporated firm employ Dobson in connection with the practitioner’s or incorporated firm’s practice, so long as the order remains in force.

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