A Christchurch couple have received community-based sentences for defrauding a government-funded disability trust of
Cecilia (Kate) Ellenbroek and Alfonsus (Fons) Ellenbroek spent Alpha Support Centre Trust funds on their personal
expenses – including extensive international travel and accommodation, meals and entertainment, clothing, cigarettes,
alcohol, jewellery and household appliances.
Mrs Ellenbroek was sentenced at the Christchurch District Court to 12 months of home detention, 300 hours of community
work and ordered to pay full reparation. Mr Ellenbroek received six months of community detention, 200 hours of
community work and was ordered to pay full reparation. Together the Ellenbroeks must pay $494,545 in reparation.
Mrs Ellenbroek (62) was sentenced on six counts of ‘Theft by person in special relationship’ and six counts of ‘False
accounting’ while her husband, Mr Ellenbroek (64), was sentenced on six counts of ‘Theft by person in special
relationship’. The charges were brought by the Serious Fraud Office.
The Christchurch-based disabilities trust was funded by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Development.
The funds were allocated for community day care and vocational services for people with intellectual disabilities.
SFO Director, Julie Read said, “The Ellenbroeks enriched themselves by stealing public funds that were allocated for the
care of people with intellectual disabilities. Mr and Mrs Ellenbroek misappropriated nearly $500,000 of funds that
should have be used to improve the lives of their extremely vulnerable clients. The couple instead used the money for
their own personal benefit. Given this significant breach of trust, the SFO asked the Court to impose a term of
imprisonment for Mrs Ellenbroek and submitted that home detention was manifestly inadequate.”