Man embezzles AUS $302,000 when entrusted with both passwords of accounting system

Incident Date: August 2003
Incident Location: Waverley Australia

Neil Mitchell pled guilty to 244 counts of fraud in an Australian court for embezzling money from the very charity he was hired to help. Over a 3-year period, Mr. Mitchell stole an estimated AUS $302,000 from CanTeen, a charity that seeks to help young people with cancer. His role there as an accountant gave him access to CanTeen’s funds. However, it was lax internal controls that provided him with both passwords needed to perform and approve electronic transfers of CanTeen funds. Had the principal of split responsibility been enforced, Mr. Mitchell’s thefts might have drawn quicker scrutiny.

It was one of the lavish family trips financed by his crimes that finally brought attention to his secret. An accounts clerk filling in for Mr. Mitchell during an August 2003 vacation noticed the account discrepancies and brought them to the attention of the CanTeen CEO. The CEO called in a forensic accounting team which revealed the full extent of the theft. Mr. Mitchell was summarily fired and reported to the police.

Mr. Mitchell awaits sentencing for his crimes in November of 2004.

Story Sources

Title: The art of the con
Author: Ben Hills
Date: 11/6/2004
Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Original source apparently Serious Fraud in Australia and New Zealand, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Australian Institute of Criminology
Publication Location: Sydney Australia
Publication URL:

Do you have additional information to contribute regarding this story? If so, please email with the details and source.

<-- Back to Authentication Story Index

[Home] [About Us] [News] [Research]

Copyright © 2016