Defrauded childcare centre owner looks to future after email hacker stole $54k

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Defrauded childcare centre owner looks to future after email hacker stole $54k


STUFF

Ruru House child care centre owner Anna Ryder is focused on the new business opening on January 14.

With a week to go until the newly built Ruru House child care business opens, owner Anna Ryder has no time to dwell on the negative.

The child care centre near Lepperton, south of New Plymouth, will open its doors to 20 new pre-school entrants on January 14, less than three months after losing nearly $54,000 meant to help pay for the building’s construction to an email scam.

“We have accepted we may never see the money again and have learned to absorb the disappointment and move forward,” Ryder said.

Ruru House child care centre has a vegetable garden, an orchard and  farm animals for children to enjoy.

SUPPLIED/Anna Ryder

Ruru House child care centre has a vegetable garden, an orchard and farm animals for children to enjoy.

The scam siphoned off $53,700 from Ryder’s parents, Millie and Pat Bradford, meant to pay a contractor for work completed in April 2018.

The hacker intercepted an invoice payment from the contractor and then forwarded it to the Bradfords, with a Dunedin bank account for payment, using a slightly altered email address which went undetected by the couple.

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Underfloor heating has been added for warmth in the interior of Ruru House child care centre.

SUPPLIED/Anna Ryder

Underfloor heating has been added for warmth in the interior of Ruru House child care centre.

Ryder said police had yet to bring the perpetrator to justice.

“We have had no feedback from the investigation since October,” she said.

Ryder said the focus for the business instead had been on completing the building in time for the official opening next week.

Interior of newly built Ruru House child care centre, Lepperton, Taranaki, ready to open January 14.

SUPPLIED/Anna Ryder

Interior of newly built Ruru House child care centre, Lepperton, Taranaki, ready to open January 14.

The centre will operate five days a week, between 7.45am-5.15pm and is licensed to accommodate 50 children between ages 0-6, with an allowance to have up to 70 entrants attending full or part-time.

Twenty eight infants have so far been registered to start at the child care centre when it opens.

“We have a transition week starting on Monday for 11 new teachers, and families wanting to bring their children,” she said.

“We have had incredible help from the community to open on time and we are absolutely thrilled to get to this point.”

People had donated their time and energy to build fences and playground equipment, she said.

“It’s been a pretty stressful past year but we have finally got it finished.”

Ruru House offered a healthy environment based on the needs of young children to learn and grow, she said.

“We have an unique setting with vegetable gardens, an orchard, chickens and miniature ponies to encourage the children to enjoy the outdoors and nature.”

The facility had been built to be warm in winter and cool on summer, she said, with underfloor heating.



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