Convicted fraudster Michael Swann, who defrauded the Otago District Health Board of $16,902,000 over six years while he worked there as an IT specialist, is up for parole after only serving four years of a nine-and-a-half year prison sentence imposed March 2009. He spent almost $11.6 million of the stolen money on boats, flash cars and properties – buying some with suitcases of cash.
In an “extraordinary turn of events” his parole hearing has had to be delayed by the Board because of a threat it received from Swann’s unnamed main parole sponsor, a threat issued in an “extraordinary and inappropriate” letter, according to the Boad.
Board convenor Judge Michael Crosbie said the supporter, who was present for Swann’s parole hearing last Tuesday [14 May], had written to the board since the hearing.
The letter contained “a threat to take and fund judicial review proceedings if Mr Swann does not receive an outcome favourable to him”.
Judge Crosbie said it would be wrong to ignore the letter.
“It is both extraordinary and inappropriate for a prisoner or supporter to write a letter … pending a decision,” he said.
Judge Crosbie said Swann had perpetrated a fraud involving “a serious and cynical breach of trust”.
However, the supporter’s letter had objected to the board conducting any analysis of Swann’s risk.
For full story go to:
Parole Delayed for Swann. 8.45 PM, Monday, May 20, 2013
By Matthew Backhouse
Threatening letter delays parole hearing
Story by Wilma McCorkindale.
Fairfax NZ News