Seven freezes the assets of employee John Fitzgerald amid fraud investigation

sevenThe Seven Network has won court permission to freeze the assets of one of its senior programming managers, amid claims of falsifying invoices.

The NSW Supreme Court granted Seven the injunction against employee John Fitzgerald, the TV network’s manager of programming, with the court hearing that he had admitted to defrauding the company.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Fitzgerald had responsibility for duties including accounting, financial reporting and the budgetary responsibility for television productions and used this position to create false invoices. “Seven confirmed it took recovery action against an employee who admitted to committing fraud, uncovered by internal audit,” said a Seven spokesman.

Justice Francois Kunc granted Seven’s application for freezing orders against Fitzgerald’s assets and those of his companies.

“It is clear from the material before the court that a serious and ongoing fraud appears to have been committed by Mr Fitzgerald against his employer,” said Justice Kunc.

Seven said Fitzgerald was currently suspended and they were working to recover the funds taken.

“The employee who is suspended from duty is co-operating in recovery measures,” said the spokesman. “Proceedings instituted in the Supreme Court include obtaining freezing orders against the defendant’s and associated entities’ assets. Having made substantial recovery already, Seven is confident of minimising financial impact.

“As the matter is before the court we cannot say more.”

Read the full report on the SMH here.


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