The Swann case

I have been following with interest the case of Michael Swann who stole millions off the Otago District Health Board since 2000.

The information to date was bad enough – there seemed a total lack of internal controls and/or internal audit. With millions paid for non existant software upgrades and licenses etc, it should have been easy to spring the hoax early on.

Add to that the fact Swann was driving luxury cars well beyond his means, and flaunting his wealth – someone should have got suspicious. I remember former SFO Director Chas Sturt once rumbled a fraudster (Hancox) just based on a comment at a dinner party that he seemed to live beyond his means.

But the latest news in today’s ODT (offline) is that the ODHB was warned in 1998 that Swann had “criminal intent”. Appalling. Even if they could not act on the allegations, they should have made damn sure their controls and checks were first class. But hey, when it is just taxpayer money, why bother?

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