Fraud probe linked to Dunedin council worker's death

  • 16/12/2015
Fraud probe linked to Dunedin council worker's death

A fleet manager with Dunedin City Council who was the subject of a $1.5 million fraud investigation took his own life, a coroner has found.

The body of 49-year-old Brent Bachop was found at his East Tairei home in May last year, days after a meeting seeking answers over the sale of the council's vehicles.

Coroner David Crerar, in findings released on Wednesday, said Mr Bachop's death was self-inflicted.

He said it was inappropriate for him to look into the truth of the allegations Mr Bachop was facing over the assets or money worth $1.5 million that were unaccounted for.

Mr Crerar said Mr Bachop's wife accepted and police acknowledged that the allegations surrounding the Citifleet were behind his suicide.

"There is one overwhelming issue which he must have felt that he could not face," he said.

An investigation by accounting firm Deloitte found Mr Bachop had sold the vehicles below wholesale value, keeping much of the profit to himself and in one case had written over the council's name on a cheque with his own.

Deloitte, in its report last December, also found he had taken more than $100,000 from council fuel cards for personal use.

It said it was unclear what he had done with most of the money, but said $349,000 had been spent from his bank account of small-item purchases.

Five staff, including senior managers, resigned over the scandal.

NZN