The UWA Guild has operated since 1913.

Jail sentence for UWA Guild theft

Monday, 27 August, 2018 - 14:25

A former UWA Student Guild staff member who stole around $560,000 has been sentenced to a four year jail term, after Business News reported in 2014 he had left his role and that accounting firm BDO had been hired for a forensic audit.

Henry Dudek, 67, was formerly employed as financial and property officer at the guild, but resigned in July 2014, according to court documents.

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Mr Dudek’s offending commenced in 2006.

Between January 2011 and November 2013, the indictment period, Mr Dudek stole $560,000.

He pled guilty to the charge of stealing as a servant in the District Court on Thursday last week, receiving a four year sentence with two years parole, and an order to pay back $560,000 to the guild’s insurer, Chubb Insurance.

According to court documents, Mr Dudek claimed the theft was primarily for his son’s drug rehabilitation, while it also contributed towards his daughter’s university fees.

Mr Dudek went on leave in November 2013 and, according to the documents, resigned from the role in July 2014.

Prosecutor Gabrielle Clark said he had been offending for several years.

“He had discovered a loophole where he could manipulate the bank reconciliation debtor records and still comply with audit requirements,” Ms Clark said.  

“The process involved managing the allocation of cheques and the debtor’s figure so that he could take cash.

“He admitted that in 2013 he had made some errors and lost track of his offending and consequently he destroyed documentation that he thought may incriminate him.  

“In February 2015, the finance director was instructed to prepare a comprehensive audit to assist the UWA Student Guild with lodging an insurance claim to restore its financial position.

“During the audit the finance director identified the offender’s methodology.  

“Petty cash was manipulated by using supporting documents multiple times.  

“For example, UWA Student Guild club withdrawal slips were photocopied multiple times and used as a supporting document for the reimbursement of petty cash.”

Business News revealed in 2014 that accounting firm BDO had identified between $800,000 and $900,000 in financial irregularities.

The issue was later raised in the parliament by Senator James McGrath.

The guild booked an $862,780 loss from employee misappropriation in its 2013 financial year.

In 2015, it booked an insurance recovery of $862,780, while in 2014, it booked a recovery of $98,000, which is believed to pertain to audit and other costs.