Former Seven Staffer Arrested Over Alleged $8m Fraud

Former Seven Staffer Arrested Over Alleged $8m Fraud

A former Seven West Media executive has been arrested for allegedly defrauding the network to the sum of over $8 million.

John Fitzgerald, who spent 15 years at the company controlling finances, was arrested at his Sydney residence this morning and is expected to be charged over the matter.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the arrest this morning.

The arrest followed a two-year investigation into the allegations by the NSW Financial Crimes Squad, after Seven originally flagged suspicious transactions during an internal audit.

Between 2002 and 2016, it is alleged Fitzgerald sent $3.6 million worth of invoices from Kanfit Pty Limited – a company he owned – to Seven and processed them himself.

He also set up the company FPC Pty Ltd in 2005 and did the same to $4.4 million worth of invoices.

Upon making the discovery internally, Seven took civil action against Fitzgerald in 2016 to freeze his assets, including $1 million in a superannuation fund and $2.5 million in cash and shares.

In a 2017 shareholders briefing, Seven chairman Kerry Stokes said “I can assure you I watch the till” and told shareholders the systems were up to scratch but “no system will stop dishonest people”.

Fitzgerald and Seven reached a settlement last year and the money was repaid.

Seven declined to comment on this morning’s arrest.

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