Flinders University’s moves to recover funds allegedly misappropriated by a staff member have yielded initial success with the SA Supreme Court ordering the return of $13.9 million to the University.
The University is actively seeking restitution of all of the misappropriated funds as soon as possible and the court-ordered transfer is the first step towards that goal.
The transfer order was made following an agreement negotiated between the University’s lawyers and the former staff member’s legal representative, and agreed by the former staff member. The Supreme Court also ordered that a portfolio of shares be transferred to Flinders University.
The money, along with other funds and assets, had been frozen since Friday 22 January when the University successfully sought a Supreme Court order in the wake of the charging of the former staff member with five counts of deception in the Magistrates Court.
International accounting firm Ernst & Young was last week appointed to conduct a forensic investigation of the alleged deception and the circumstances surrounding it. Ernst & Young is working with the University’s lawyers and SA Police and the outcome of that investigation will be relevant to further court action in April involving the former employee. As such, Flinders is not in a position to discuss any of the information that has come to light to date.
Flinders has further strengthened its financial controls following this incident.
The University is in a strong financial position, and funds from all sources are protected. All financial commitments will be met and there will be no impact on operational, research, donor or project funding.
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