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Ex-Seven exec in $8m fraud allegations

Seven’s former commercial director of programming John Fitzgerald is alleged to have stolen $8.02 million from the company.

The Australian reports over 14 years the alleged theft was only possible because Mr Fitzgerald was able to both create and authorise invoices without the need for a second signature.

Seven closed the loophole last March after the fraud had been detected.

NSW Supreme Court documents reveal Fitzgerald has already repaid $2.34m to the Stokes empire, and $3.71m from the sale of properties in Cattai and Dee Why has been frozen. Seven is also seeking to put its foot on a third property in Terrigal.

Mr Fitzgerald admitted some of the conduct but denied it amounted to fraud.

Seven is also probing financial irregularities in its Los Angeles office.

“I can assure you I watch the till,” Mr Stokes said yesterday during half-yearly results. “We’ve had some changes in systems, some new approaches that caught some of these issues.”

The story was first reported last April by ABC.

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